Brands Giving Voice to the Voiceless

There are many people who don’t have a voice, who have been silenced, who have been pardoned, who have been let down by our country, policies and prejudices. And while it can seem like Corporate America can be cut throat and money hungry, brands have time and time again come out in support for things that they value as companies and want consumers to know that they support. And who better else to come out in support of women’s rights, gender equality, gay marriage, tighter gun control, net neutrality and so many other causes that are currently running rampid in our country today? Brands have a voice, they have the money and they have the power to spearhead positive change and shed light on issues that need it. Yes, this may be coming from an advertising major but here are some brands that are doing some cool and inspiring things to show their support for those who need it the most:

 

Johnnie Walker supports gender equality with “Jane Walker”

Whiskey giant Johnnie Walker is doing a rebrand for Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day in March by creating limited edition Jane Walker in support of women in politics, business and culture. They company will also be donating $1 for each bottle sold to nonprofits like Monumental Women a movement to erect a monument honoring America’s women suffragists in New York’s Central Park, and She Should Run, a group encouraging women to register and run for elected office.

 

Apple supports marriage equality

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In light of Australia’s recent vote to approve marriage equality after years of opposition, Apple has released a string of ads celebrating same sex marriage. The ad campaign, which was shot on the iPhone X, was entitled “First Dance”.

 

Lacoste supports endangered species

Lacoste supports those who have no voice at all and replaces their classic crocodile logo with 10 endangered species in support of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Named “Save the Species” Lacoste kickstart its 3 year partnership with the IUCN in which it will replace it’s logo with the logo of a threatened species on a limited number of polo shirts. The total number of shirts being made is just 1775 which corresponds to the number of these animals combined that are left on earth.

 

Airbnb accepts people for who they are

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In response to Trump’s temporary travel ban about a year ago, Airbnb released this spot in support of all people, of all ethnicities. Airbnb produced this spot in support of immigrants and refugees and also had a goal of trying to provide short term housing for some of these refugees and pledged 4 million dollars over the next four years to International Rescue Committee.

 

Dick’s Sporting Goods stops selling assault rifles and more in fight towards tighter gun control

In light of the recent Parkland Florida  mass shooting a few weeks ago, the sporting goods giant ops to not sell assault-style rifles, high capacity magazines, bump stocks and will also not sell any gun to anyone under the age of 21. In the statement above Dick’s writes “Following all of the rules and laws, we sold a shotgun to the Parkland shooter in November of 2017. It was not the gun, nor type of gun, he used in the shooting. But it could have been. Clearly this indicates on so many levels that the systems in place are not effective to protect our kids and our citizens. We believe it’s time to do something about it.”

 

Gap normalizes breastfeeding

The brand posted this beautiful and intimate shot of a mother breastfeeding her baby to social media last weekend in promotion for its new line Love by GapBody. After becoming a widespread hit online, the company released this statement: “We aim for the marketing around Love By GapBody to encourage and empower all women to be the woman they want to be as a friend, partner, wife, mother and voice in today’s society.” The ad kickstarted a #NormalizeBreastfeeding hashtag and combated multiple stigmas with this ad by featuring not just a child older than the usual breastfeeding age but also a black child as how long to breastfeed and breastfeeding in the black community are often ridiculed.

 

Always empowers women and brings puberty education to girls around the globe

 

 

This one was a few years back, but Always #LikeAGirl campaign touched on the inequalities women face daily and highlights how insulting women by saying “like a girl” lowers their esteem and can have permanent effects on adolescents as they grow into adults.  The brand begins by asking older girls, then young boys then young girls to do tasks “like a girl” and it isn’t until the young girls perform these tasks that you start to see actual effort put forth. When the older girls and boys do the task such as running, they are flailing their arms around and skipping around, but when the young girl is asked to perform the task she begins to run with force and power. The idea being that just because girls are girls doesn’t mean they perform tasks in any inferior way.

 

 

There are so many other examples out there of brands stepping out of the box to shine light in places that need it, giving a voice to those who have been muted. While there may be some brands you disagree with, or brands that spend no money on awareness for things their company may value, it’s refreshing to see that some brands are willing to spend their ad dollars and maybe even lose some customers if it means doing the right thing and showing support for things that actually matter in today’s society.