In a world where brands compete for consumers’ attention, some companies have found a way to stand out: societal marketing. These organizations understand that the public cares not just about what they buy, but also about the impact of their purchases on society at large. This isn’t just a savvy business move, it’s is about making a real difference. This guide explores five impactful examples of societal marketing and sheds light on this transformative marketing strategy.
What is Societal Marketing?
The societal marketing concept is a holistic approach that balances consumer wants, company needs, and long-term societal interests. Rather than focusing solely on transactions, societal marketing is about building relationships and preserving or enhancing consumer and societal well-being. It’s a strategy that positions a company as socially responsible, ultimately creating a favorable image for the organization.
5 Examples of Societal Marketing
Many organizations have adopted societal marketing strategies to make a difference and elevate their brand. Here are five standout examples:
1. The Anti-Tobacco Campaign
Government agencies worldwide have run anti-tobacco campaigns, using societal marketing to highlight the dangers of smoking and encourage smokers to quit. One of the most prominent is the “Truth” campaign in the United States. Not only did it shock viewers with graphic depictions of tobacco’s health impacts, but it also effectively reduced youth smoking rates. The campaign turned societal marketing into a public health tool, creating a powerful social message that saved lives.
2. Coca-Cola’s “America is Beautiful” Ad
Coca-Cola’s “America is Beautiful” Super Bowl ad took a bold societal marketing approach, celebrating America’s cultural diversity by featuring “America the Beautiful” sung in multiple languages. Not only did this socially conscious campaign highlight Coca-Cola’s commitment to inclusivity, but it also sparked nationwide conversation about what it means to be American. The campaign placed Coca-Cola as a brand that values unity in diversity, reinforcing its position as a brand for everyone.
3. Airbnb’s #WeAccept Super Bowl Ad
Airbnb’s #WeAccept campaign was a powerful societal marketing move. In a time of heightened political tension and divisive rhetoric, Airbnb aired a Super Bowl ad featuring people of different nationalities and the simple, potent message that everyone belongs. Alongside this, the company pledged to provide housing for 100,000 refugees, disaster survivors, and relief workers, transforming societal marketing into tangible action.
4. Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign
One of the most well-recognized societal marketing campaigns is Dove’s Real Beauty campaign. Launched by Dove, a Unilever brand, this transformative campaign aimed to redefine the narrow, often unattainable standards of beauty that the cosmetics and advertising industries have long perpetuated. By featuring women of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds in their advertisements, Dove triggered an essential conversation about self-esteem and body positivity. This initiative did more than just sell soap; it ignited a global movement towards inclusivity and self-acceptance, making it an excellent example of how societal marketing can catalyze profound social change while resonating universally.
5. World Wildlife Fund’s “Save Paper, Save the Planet” Campaign
The World Wildlife Fund’s “Save Paper, Save the Planet” campaign brought societal marketing to environmental conservation. Using an impactful visual of a tree bleeding from a paper cut, the campaign urged consumers to reduce their paper use. It demonstrated that societal marketing can go beyond human-centered issues to advocate for the health of our planet, encouraging more sustainable behavior.
The Importance of Societal Marketing
Societal marketing is more than a business strategy—it’s a way for organizations to contribute positively to the world around them. By reducing inequity and promoting well-being, societal marketing helps make organizations more human. This focus on relationships over transactions aligns companies with consumers who care about their purchases’ social impact, bolstering their reputation and resonance with the public.
Organizations have a unique opportunity to make a difference while elevating their brand. By considering societal interests and building meaningful relationships, they can align themselves with consumers’ values and contribute positively to the world. These five examples show the transformative potential of societal marketing, illustrating how it can create powerful messages that resonate with consumers and benefit society. Whether you’re a marketing professional or a consumer, understanding societal marketing offers insight into how business can be a force for good.
Ready to make your brand the talk of the town? Contact HyFyve for a consultation. Let’s work together to create marketing that truly matters.