With its newly created Social Good Awards, the Shorty Awards look to shine a light on brand campaigns that leave the world a little better than they found it. As the world becomes more connected and more online, more consumers are becoming conscious of how the businesses they patronize operate in the larger world. The Social Good Awards look to highlight those campaigns that are more than just another angle on advertising and marketing.
The deadline for the Social Good Awards is inching ever closer (get your entries in by Aug. 31 at shortyawards.com/socialgood), but there’s still time to enter great campaigns. To help get a leg up on the competition, the Shorty Awards interviewed Social Good Awards judges and published a blog post full of useful tips campaign makers should take to heart. Here are a couple of the most useful insights.
The Best Campaigns are the Most Authentic
Said aloud, this one seems like a no-brainer, but the fact is, consumers can tell when a campaign is more about appearing to do good than actually doing good. In the Social Good Awards, judges are looking to reward campaigns that are genuinely trying to make the world a better place—and phonies are obvious.
“It’s important to differentiate brands that are jumping on the social good bandwagon from those who are committed to using their business as a force for good,” Shivika Sinha, director of Digital Marketing at Alex and Ani told The Shortys. “The brands who care about their social and environmental impact are those that mitigate it within their business systems and culture.”
Effective campaigns aren’t just the ones that are a good idea or address a real need, they’re also genuine. So for those brands looking to make a difference and trying to decide how, the best advice is to choose something that’s meaningful to the company and the people behind it—and try to make a real difference.
Social good campaigns also aren’t brands patting themselves on the back. Social Good Awards judges are interested in campaigns that are engaging people to do maximum good.
“The one thing I would suggest avoiding is slapping your brand all over it,” said Hannah Kreiswirth, global managing director of AREA 17. “Logo-driven marketing is a way of the past— it’s important to move away from sponsorship and towards engagement. If you engage people in your campaign, your brand will find its way to the forefront, but authentically, and through your consumers.”
Great social good campaigns are more of a partnership with consumers than normal marketing campaigns. It’s teamwork that makes use of a brand’s power and platform to do things like raise awareness of issues and make it easier for consumers to provide help. So when creating a social good campaign, think about how your campaign and your brand can work together with your consumers to make a difference.
Great Entries are Creative, Focused, Empathetic and Insightful
When The Shorty Awards asked judges what they would be looking for in strong Social Good Awards entries, it came away with a bunch of great, useful advice. Every judge said they were looking for fresh, creative executions on ideas to make social good campaigns effective. In this award competition, it’s all about engaging with consumers in exciting ways, making campaigns that truly stand out.
That means that not only do campaigns use strong, creative marketing that shines new light on the problems they’re hoping to help correct, but they’re also knowledgeable about how to reach their consumers.
Finally, commitment to the mission is also a major part of judges’ focus—because the Social Good Awards are about partnerships that are helping make the world a better place. Brands that are committed to helping, and that are keeping the focus on the campaign rather than themselves, are going to do well with judges.
There are many more insights to be gleaned from the Shorty Awards’ blog post, and its definitely worth reading (check out the full interview right here). But suffice it to say, the best advice when approaching a social good campaign—and trying to earn some recognition for one—is for brands to be real, and to be themselves. In a connected age where consumers are conscious of what companies they patronize and how they interact with the world of which they’re a part, the most effective brands and companies are those ones that take being citizens of the world seriously.