We Have Proved Once Again That Brand Marketing Can Drive Social Change, Further Customer Engagment And Build Brands. And Won A Gold Award For Best Financial Service Marketing.

Aviva Canada just announced winners to Aviva Community Fund with half a million dollars payout to programs across the country. This is the second year of a very successful campaign created to use brand to drive social change. The Aviva Community Fund, a unique competition designed to lead, empower and support positive change in communities across the country, was first launched in 09 when we presented the idea to the client.

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The idea is an open source idea platform for people to submit and decide how to use the money to drive real social change and provide positive impact to their communities. We are grateful to our client's team who worked with us side by side and our design and development team working day and night to accommodate the evolving needs of the program. This is year two and we won a gold award for this campaign. Great work team!

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The sustainable impact of the idea or campaign is another proof to show that the world has changed so much since the early days of advertising. The events of the last decade and the Internet has made us aware of the challenges around us.

Advertising has always been the primary mechanism to create awareness and build brand equity, but it is not a question of which 50% of the money is wasted, it is a question of why 80% of the money spent is not building brand equity and merely creating awarness?

Our research shows that 79% of consumers are willing to change the brands they buy or if they believe their actions contribute to making our world a better place, and over 67% would help a brand “promote” (by using Facebook or other social media) if a good cause were behind it and is credible. Also, 73% of consumers (under the age of 35) said it is their mission to contribute to a better society and environment.

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Among all respondents, “helping others and contributing to their communities” was cited as the second-most important source of personal contentment, after “spending quality time with loved ones.” Over 54% respondents are not fully convinced that corporate social responsibility advertising is credible when they cannot associate that with real action. The power of PR is diminishing when the program is not designed to engage consumers. This study was part of our ongoing research to look at how social causes can help brands which are low involvement in nature to drive engagement.

One interesting take away point, 67% of consumers are comfortable with the idea that brands can support good causes and improve our societies and make money at the same time. When is Wall Street ready to factor in a second or third bottom line into their valuation of companies? It is time.