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By: Amy Higgins & Ryan Hill


Brands can have an impact on culture if they choose to stand for something. More and more consumers want to spend money on brands that align with their values. Here are some great ads that had something impactful to say.

1. Taking a stand for someone who took a knee

Nike could have easily steered clear of the Colin Kapernick controversy and still produced amazing work like they always do, but instead they decided to take a stand for someone who took a knee. We love seeing brands use their deep pockets and reach to affect change.

2. That time of the month gets its time in the sun

The Blood Normal campaign from Libresse, a swedish feminine hygiene company, sought to combat the stigma of periods by showing they are a normal and natural part of everyday life. No more blue dye. No more embarrassment. NO MORE SHAME. Proof that ads can affect change if they are willing to challenge the status quo.

3. Burger King was anything but neutral when it tackled Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality is a big deal, but many people didn’t understand the implications of its repeal. So, Burger King decided to use it’s marketing dollars to educate the American Public on this important issue.

4. “The Talk” is something we all should be talking about

Every black parent knows that one day they will have to have “The Talk” with their children, explaining to them that they will be treated differently than their white counterparts. Proctor and Gamble decided to highlight this heartbreaking reality in a series of emotional spots that opened viewers eyes to a harsh truth they probably never considered.

5. Sephora proves that beauty is more than skin deep
Sephora closed its doors for a day to launch a new platform and tagline, “We Belong to Something Beautiful,” in an effort to continue its commitment to inclusivity with its clients and employees. On June 5th, for one hour, they shut down every Sephora store, call center, distribution center, and home office to host a company-wide inclusivity and belonging workshop. We love when a company is dedicated to embodying its values.

6. A men’s brand takes toxic men to task

Toxic masculinity may seem like a buzzword but it’s actually an endemic problem that needs to be addressed. Gilette took a stand on the issue and made an incredibly impactful campaign. Take a look:

7. You’ll wish you threw like a girl after watching this ad

Dove found evidence that girls self-esteem plummeted after puberty and never recovered. For generations we denigrated things that were done “like a girl” and Dove decided to reframe the conversation. Watch this incredible ad that took a stand against internalized misogyny.

8. REI closed on Black Friday and opened people’s eyes

REI started a movement to reconnect people with the outdoors by closing on Black Friday and encouraging other companies to do the same. The company showed that it valued the outdoors over consumerism and gained a lot of loyal followers who agreed that Black Friday had gotten out of control and represented the ugly side of capitalism. Sometimes not trying to sell people is the best way to get them to buy in

Also published on Medium.


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