PayPal uses World Cup for clean water awareness

PayPal - Neymar

While the big World Cup sponsors are attempting to score big with a large audience in order to boost sales, PayPal is using the mega-event as a cause marketing effort in conjunction with Brazilian soccer star Neymar, bringing awareness to the necessity for clean water in Brazil. A fundraising drive, Competition for Good, is positioned as a contest among football fans around the world, who donate through PayPal on behalf of 32 national teams.

The effort is a partnership between PayPal and Neymar’s nonprofit, Neymar Jr. Project Institute. Proceeds go to Waves for Water, which provides communities with water filters and, in this case, will donate filters in the cities where the matches are taking place. From the semifinal matches on July 8 through the final on July 13, PayPal will also match donations 100 percent. The initiative is a nice way to tie together the sporting event of the year with a CSR campaign while also driving consumers to log into their PayPal accounts.

Photo Credit: PayPal

Outdoor ads improve water, air quality

Outdoor ads are sometimes criticized as a form of visual pollution—obscuring scenic views, cluttering country highways or covering city streets—but some marketers are creating outdoor work that actively fights pollution, from toxic water to contaminated air.

In the Philippines, an 88-foot billboard that promotes Japanese natural cosmetics brand Shokubutsu Hana is made of vetiver grass, which has toxin-absorbing properties. Placed in Manila’s heavily polluted Pasig River, the billboard can cleanse up to 8,000 gallons of water a day. (While not a traditional outdoor ad, a Cannes gold Lion winner in the outdoor category similarly serves as a means to clean water: Produced by the charity Water Is Life, “The Drinkable Book” is a manual covering good sanitation and hygienic practices that also purifies drinking water, thanks to a paper coating that can destroy deadly bacteria.) In Peru, meanwhile, a billboard for engineering university UTEC purifies air up to five blocks away. Situated within the construction site of UTEC’s new campus, the billboard can filter 100,000 cubic meters of air per day.

Each campaign highlights a commitment to quality of life, reflecting positively on the organizations. In UTEC’s case, the university recognizes that growth and development can cause pollution but shows that it has the know-how to help mitigate the negative impact. These practical efforts go beyond raising awareness to providing solutions to real problems, addressing anxieties and improving lives immediately.

Lion-winning Banco Popular campaign takes practical approach to stimulate growth in Puerto Rico

This week, Banco Popular and JWT San Juan won a bronze Lion at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for “My Bank, My Space,” a response to Puerto Rico’s eight-year recession that focused on promoting customers’ small businesses. Banco Popular and JWT have been aiming to infuse hope into the Puerto Rican economy for the past few years. In 2011, the bank rewrote a popular song to help stimulate the economy by challenging a reliance on welfare (winning a Grand Prix at Cannes), while in 2012, another campaign transformed an Olympic hurdle event into a metaphor for overcoming life’s obstacles.

Puerto Rico’s economy is still struggling, and after its credit rating dropped to junk status, the bank took its efforts a step further. Focusing on actively generating fiscal development rather than simply inspiring it, the “My Bank, My Space” initiative gave 140 small-business customers the marketing platform and budget to fuel their enterprises. Banco Popular built a full-scale production studio to produce TV and radio spots, using its entire advertising and corporate media budget for the project, which included print ads and an online platform for these businesses to promote their products. The campaign garnered significant media attention, providing additional promotion for the small businesses and for the bank.

Banco Popular successfully combined corporate and human interest to help stimulate growth, not merely speaking to customers’ monetary troubles but tackling them head-on with a pragmatic expediency.

Nivea magazine ad helps parents track kids with wearable tech

As discussed in our report “10 Mobile Trends for 2014 and Beyond,” a new crop of wearables allow users to be tracked from afar. And although this type of technology carries privacy implications, it can also allay anxiety around safety for users themselves or their loved ones. For instance, the Guardian Angel, created by JWT Singapore, is a pendant that can discreetly text the wearer’s location to select contacts in the event of an emergency.

In Brazil, Nivea created a lower-tech wearable it calls the “Sun Band” for its sunscreen brand Protégé that lets parents keep tabs on their children at the beach. A magazine ad featured a bracelet that can be popped out and wrapped around a child’s arm; parents then download an app that syncs with the bracelet and lets them set a perimeter. If a child wanders outside the designated area, an alarm notifies the parent immediately. Nivea says the bracelet, made from humidity-resistant paper, can be used more than once.

In some instances, tech that allows wearers to be tracked will be controversial, but this campaign strikes the right balance for parents by being practical, fun and easy. And it reinforces Protégé’s positioning as a brand that cares about safety by giving parents a little extra peace of mind on a day at the beach.

Halls encourages young Mexicans to aspire to dream jobs

Halls

It seems many young Mexicans would enjoy a change of pace at work. According to a survey by job search site Trabajando.com and Universia, 54 percent of young Mexicans feel their workplace has a bad environment, 26 percent feel unsatisfied, and 24 percent feel awkward at work. Targeting workers who are demoralized, Halls launched the campaign “Jobs That Inspire,” encouraging young people to apply for a chance to work in their dream job for a week (fashion photographer, food critic, etc.).

Contestants filled out applications on the Halls Mexico website, selecting their dream job and writing why they deserve it the most. Contestants were encouraged to share a registration code on social media with friends who could help them accrue points. Those with the most points won the opportunity to work their selected dream job. In this way, Halls motivated young Mexicans to address their frustration at work by presenting the opportunity to follow their hearts and re-evaluate their current jobs. “Jobs That Inspire” stemmed from the overarching campaign “Breathe and open up to more,” staying true to the brand’s core message.

Photo Credit: Halls

Pernod Ricard app helps imbibers track alcohol consumption

We’ve written a few posts about how alcohol brands (including Heineken and Martini) encourage responsible drinking by responding to various consumer anxieties. Recently, Pernod Ricard, the parent of brands including Absolut, Jameson and Malibu, launched an app called Wise Drinking that helps people concerned about their ability to drive, estimating users’ blood alcohol concentration. Available in 37 languages, the app takes into account gender, weight, time of the last meal and the type and quantity of alcohol consumed. Wise Drinking also offers advice on how to pace alcohol consumption and a “Get me home” button for one-touch calls to emergency services and selected friends.

Pernod Ricard is also partnering with Alcohoot, a startup selling a $99 breathalyzer that plugs in to mobile headphone jacks and provides a more exact measure of sobriety. The product “has the potential to change behavior,” according to a statement from Pernod head Bryan Fry. Wise Drinking includes integration with Alcohoot’s app.

While promoting safe drinking is a challenge—in this case, Wise Drinking requires potentially inebriated users to remember to input the information each time they have a drink—providing the tools to make more informed choices and encouraging more mindful consumption throughout the night is a move in the right direction.

JWT London’s Q1 Austerity Index finds Brits seeking solace in edible escapes

Austerity Index 2014 Q1

“Edible escapism” is how Brits are getting themselves through the slow economic recovery, according to JWT London’s latest Austerity Index. In a survey for the fifth Austerity Index report, 69 percent of British respondents acknowledged splurging on treats in the last three months, with 41 percent of these indulgences in the food or drink category. Treating, it seems, is eating. The report identifies foodie treats being used not only as a coping mechanism for therapeutic purposes but also as a social lifeline, a way to share experiences.

2014 marks the fourth year of austerity measures in the U.K.—strict coping behaviors are now ingrained, living standards have declined, and weariness about austerity remains unchanged. But our Austerity Index data reveals pockets of positive uplift, and the U.K.’s splurging habits suggest that these little mood-boosters are fueling optimism, even when household finances are barely surfacing.

“The way to Britain’s heart is surely through its stomach,” says Marie Stafford, Planning Foresight Director at JWT London. “It is a sign of the power of the experience economy, our need for social contact and a marker of how far Britain has come in its relationship with all things epicurean that food and drink should become our chosen indulgence.” However, this throws the country’s polarization into sharp focus: “It seems even more unfair that many households struggle to purchase nutritious food,” says Stafford.

The full report is available to download at austerityindex.com, along with reports from previous quarters.

Photo Credit: JWT London

Rising cost of living in Saudi Arabia spurs innovative charitable act

Hail - Refrigerator

In Saudi culture, charity is a duty. It’s part of everyone’s life, especially during the holy month of Ramadan. And with the rising cost of living in the kingdom, more citizens are aware of the need to help one another. But not often do we find them approaching the subject with an activation worthy of global brands.

Recently, a Saudi citizen in the city of Hail placed a refrigerator in front of his house and encouraged residents of the area to donate leftover food to help the needy, sparing them the shame of asking for food. A Saudi cleric, Sheikh Mohammed al-Arefe, confirmed this in a tweet, saying: “I’ve always said the people of Hail are generous. A man puts a refrigerator in front of his house for leftover food; an indirect act of charity for the needy. Oh how I love you Hail!”

The tweet received an overwhelming response from al-Arefe’s followers, who re-tweeted it more than 7,000 times. More people are now encouraging this idea with the month of Ramadan approaching.

Photo Credit: MohamadAlarefe

Coca-Cola app aims to help Romanians do good

In today’s socially conscious world, the urge to make a difference is steadily increasing. Yet many people don’t know how to get started making the world a better place, or where to help. And charities face their own organizational problems connecting those who want to help with those who need it. Recently launched in Romania, Coca-Cola’s Radar for Good app seeks to overcome those challenges. Users search for nearby organizations that are in need of volunteers, providing contact information and directions. The app also lets users opt in to future notifications from these organizations.

While the spirit behind the app is fantastic, if the backend process and infrastructure is not well thought out, the whole experience could easily sour. Indeed, it could do harm and become quite cumbersome to the organizations that the app seeks to help. Simply making the connection is one thing; making the right one is where the difference lies.

Trident’s ‘Cambia Tu Track’ promotes optimism in Mexico

Trident

In Mexico City, the traffic is awful, and most citizens have little recourse but to suffer and deal with it. Every day, it can take 90 minutes each way to drive to and from work, and using public buses can increase that time to two hours or more. The worst thing is that this situation is considered “normal.” Being stuck in a vehicle for so long has negative health and social effects, and increases levels of stress and frustration. And there are still other stressors at either end of the road: an unproductive work meeting that serves mostly to waste time or a troubled relationship that needs attention.

Knowing this, Trident created #cambiatutrack (Change Your Track), an effort to help people change their mindset not only with the traffic but with all the situations that cause stress or a bad mood. The brand invites people to share via web, Facebook and Twitter how they see the brighter side of life when they are in traffic, and gives a gift to the person with the most creative post on the microsite or social media every week. For example, a recent winner submitted: “When it is Friday and I’m stuck in traffic, I change my track because the taxi driver becomes my psychologist.” While brands are powerless to resolve myriad consumer anxieties, often they can help people laugh at or otherwise take a brighter view of these issues.

Photo Credit: Trident