Socially conscious advertising may sound a bit oxymoronic, but advertising rockstar David Droga doesn’t see it that way. In a recent interview with CNN.com, Droga emphasized the unique position advertisers find themselves in and their ability to spread a positive message to a large audience.
Many people associate marketing with some kind of sinister consumer manipulation. There are certainly unsavory techniques and practices within the industry, but marketing provides an essentially open platform to disseminate any type of message.
Droga himself has participated in advertising campaigns for charitable causes, so he has firsthand experience with responsible PR programs. The young professional offers the following poignant analysis of this growing private sector movement: “It seems like not a lot of the world’s issues can be solved by big government…But they can be solved by brands, and brands putting their best foot forward need advertising.” Essentially, Droga is saying that there is no need to spend valuable tax dollars on public service style marketing initiatives. There are plenty of small businesses and corporations who can deliver the desired message while giving their brand a lucrative boost.
Besides, government sponsored campaigns can sometimes come off as being forced, which leads people to dismiss or ignore them. This effect is even more pronounced during times of political turmoil, such as the current deficit crisis in the United States. Droga finds that consumers are more responsive to inspired ads that serve a worthy cause, especially when the encouragement comes from a trusted brand. For example, Billabong is a surfing company that donates proceeds from some its apparel to clean water initiatives and sponsors beach clean ups. Their strategy stands out from a generic philanthropic effort because there’s actually a relationship between the company and its chosen cause.
Businesses of any size can come up with an innovative way to promote their brand while lending a helping hand or simply creating awareness. If you own a small business or medium sized business, you might want to consider taking your cues from larger corporations. It’s probably best to support something that’s associated with your company in some manner or stick with one of your personal passions. When all else fails, stick to what’s popular at the moment. Right now the green movement is in full swing, which provides you with an easy angle. Let your customers know what you’re doing to lower your carbon footprint, from driving hybrid company vehicles to using energy efficient light bulbs and appliances. Remember, every little bit counts!