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When Ad Age and Effie Worldwide launched the GoodWorks Effie six years ago, our goal was to showcase great work being done by both corporate and not-for-profit organizations to create positive change in the world. We hoped to support worthy causes deserving of attention, and encourage major brands to use the power of their platforms for good.
Since the launch we have showcased many great campaigns underscoring the most important feature of corporate-responsibility campaigns: authenticity. Past and current brand winners serve as wonderful reminders of just how impactful purpose-based campaigns can be when they align so well with a brand. Those include AT&T's Last Text, American Express' Small Business Saturday and this year's CitiBike.
However, it is two of this year's not-for-profit winners, Missing Children of Canada and Thorn, that provide another important reminder and lesson for marketers and campaigns of all kinds. These two winners showcase just how effective the digital platform can be by pairing digital savvy with the right messaging and a bit of creativity, regardless of the budget size.
The campaign for Missing Children Society of Canada, which helps locate missing, abducted and runaway children, created a new version of the milk-carton campaign from the mid-'80s dubbed MilkCarton 2.0. Rather than asking for money, it asked people to donate something else--their social networks--to help locate abducted children. The campaign reached 70% of Canada, garnered 23 million earned media impressions, and most important, helped find 7 missing children.
Thorn is an organization looking to stem the tide of the hideous increase in child pornography. According to the campaign brief, by 2010, there were at least 10 million IP addresses sharing child pornography just in the USA. The Thorn team "infiltrated" P2P networks and "hijacked" pedophilic search terms to lead "unsuspecting predators" to three different landing pages rather than the videos and pictures they were hoping to view, testing which messaging could be might be most effective. Once on their landing page, Thorn dropped a cookie allowing it to retarget these predators in their regular environments, so the predators felt as if they were being watched.
Thankfully, in both of these instances, these powerful techniques were used for the benefit of children. Clearly, this type of digital savvy can benefit all organizations. We look forward to seeing more great examples of good work in the coming year.
Agency: Publicis Kaplan Thaler
"In 2012, Citi needed a disruptive way to revive its troubled brand in its hometown, New York. The City needed a sponsor with the vision and courage to invest in getting a city-wide bike share program off the ground. They came together, and Citi Bike was born. Pre-launch, the program faced 'bikelash' from naysayers. But we converted even the hardened cynics. This is the story of how Citi Bike became a win for Citi, for New York and for New Yorkers -- proving 'goodworks' can benefit both business and society."
Bronze: Generation Know
Client: Kimberly-Clark (U by Kotex)
"U by Kotex led the fem care category in being the 'cool, edgy brand,' but competitors were attacking us as style over substance. We needed to build meaning around U by Kotex, making it a force of genuine, positive change for girls. Taboos around vaginas damage young women, so we created 'Generation Know' to bring about the first generation of girls who were empowered and informed about their vaginas. Hundreds of thousands of girls helped us spread knowledge, change society's views on feminine health, and increase sales 18%."
Gold: Milk Carton 2.0
Client: Missing Children Society of Canada
Agency: Grey Canada
"MCSC is the only organization committed to the search and rescue of missing kids, handling 50,000 cases a year with limited funding. Instead of an ad to 'raise awareness to increase donations,' we asked Canadians to donate something even more important -- their social currency. The Most Valuable Search Party, a digital innovation toolkit utilizing Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Pinterest, was created to actively engage the Canadian public in the search to find missing kids; reaching 70% of all Canadians and responsible for the safe return of 7 kids and counting."
Gold: Pedophile Deterrence Program
Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners
"Deep in the darkest corners of the internet, away from the watchful eyes of the law and society, child pornography has been growing exponentially. Until now, no one had taken on the ambitious task of deterrence. This campaign set out to make the internet a hostile environment for seekers of child porn. It uses covert tactics, blending technology and messaging, to deter pedophiles mid-fantasy in order to remove their false sense of online anonymity and to compel them to seek help for their compulsion."
Silver: Making Los Angeles A "No-Kill" City
Client: Best Friends Animal Society
Agency: TBWA/Chiat/Day Los Angeles
"In 2011, more than 22,000 animals were needlessly killed inside Los Angeles shelters. BFAS used their advantage, strength in numbers, to give the animals inside LA's shelters a voice and break the stigma that shelter animals are bruised and broken. In doing so, we helped saved nearly 7,000 innocent lives from euthanization and helped nearly 4,000 best friends in waiting to find a forever, loving home."
Bronze: Social Fuel
"MINDDRIVE, a Kansas City program for at-risk teens, was created to combat rising high school dropout rates."
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Allison Arden is VP-publisher at Advertising Age.