Socially Responsible Marketing

My idea for this blog post came from seeing a recent Budweiser commercial called ‘Friends Are Waiting.’ It made me think about corporate social responsibility marketing. When you look at advertising from just ten years ago, many more corporations are using social responsibility advertising and initiatives today to market their products in a different way. Corporations want customers to see them in a better light: responsible companies focused on what is best for society as opposed to purely on profits.

‘Friends Are Waiting’ is a commercial meant to deter people from driving home after a night of drinking. The dog in the commercial waits and whimpers all night for the owner to come home. It says that “the waiting never ended” for some dogs because their owner decided to drive drunk. This owner, however, is responsible and doesn’t drive home, so the two are safely reunited in the morning. Besides the social responsibility aspect, Budweiser is clearly marketing their product and increasing brand awareness. Because this commercial evokes sad and happy emotions, it becomes a commercial that consumers will remember.

Other recent examples of companies utilizing this form of marketing include Ben and Jerry’s and Tom’s. For quite some time, Ben and Jerry’s has been known for their socially responsible business model and they have used it as a marketing tool. The company uses fair trade ingredients which mean employees have good and safe working conditions. The company is also involved in corporate philanthropy and community development initiatives. Additionally, Tom’s is well known for their ‘one for one’ concept: for every pair of shoes sold, another is given to a child in need. Both of these companies use their initiatives to not only better society, but also to draw in customers who prefer to buy from responsible companies.

Social responsibility is increasingly important to consumers, especially millennials. When companies market themselves as having these good social values, consumers may be more likely to buy their products. Budweiser wants customers to think more highly of their company while it raises brand recognition at the same time. Ben and Jerry’s wants consumers to think about how the company treats employees and how they give back to society. Tom’s wants customers to buy their shoes so that they can make a difference in a poor child’s life. Social responsibility is no longer just good for society, but also good for business.

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