From Smokey Bear and "Keep America Beautiful" to "Love Has No Labels," the Ad Council has created some instantly recognizable campaigns. The organization itself, though, has been less visible. So, for the first time in nearly a half century, it's switching things up with a rebrand.
In the last few years, cause marketing has become a crowded space. "As this industry has grown and diversified, there are many, many new players that didn't exist even five or 10 years ago. They don't necessarily know who we are or what we do," says Lisa Sherman, president and CEO of the Ad Council.
So a new logo updates the ubiquitous black-and-white stamp created in 1969. The symbol will be rendered in light blue or gray, colors more easily noticed in a variety of digital and print media.
This year, the Ad Council will address 40 different social issues, each with varied messengers or mascots and through different primary channels. The new logo is designed to work in any of those visual environments.
The way the group creates campaigns is also evolving. Three years ago, the Ad Council began Creators for Good, a program that enables social media influencers to make content for Ad Council initiatives that resonate with them: Actress Liza Koshy; video-game streamer Markeplier; LGBTQ activist Tyler Oakley; and "My Drunk Kitchen" star Hannah Hart all partnered with the Suicide Prevention campaign. In 2017, the program was responsible for 220 original pieces of content.
Ad agencies will still lead the creative strategy and make the tentpole spots, but Sherman says agencies don't have the bandwidth to develop all of the social graphics and other content elements to keep the campaign alive throughout the year, so the Ad Council will continue to build out its internal content studio.