Why I’m looking forward to the D&AD Impact Awards
On 27 September this year, D&AD will be holding their very first Impact awards ceremony, a new award that aims to celebrate the power of creativity and its ability to stimulate positive change.
Why am I looking forward to it? Because social media can often be riddled with negativity – Its instantaneous nature means that things can spiral out of control. Last week, the Kim & Taylor feud reached boiling point. Taylor had to put in a call to Instagram to eradicate all of the snakes that were appearing by the hundreds on her profile, deploying a new tool (who knew Instagram had that up their sleeves?), which allows high profile users the ability to block Internet trolls. What do you do if you’re not a high profile user? Justine Sacco clearly didn’t have that luxury when she became the number one trending topic on Twitter after sending the infamous tweet she probably never thought anyone would see.
Aside from twitter trolls and “shame campaigning” you have a world where people are more connected than ever, yet feeling more DISconnected than ever. In the mini-documentary produced by SBS, “The age of Loneliness” two younger females express the view that social media is only adding fuel to the fire. It’s not a new question, we’ve all heard it before; is social really that social?
On the opposite spectrum you have people (like me), jumping for absolute joy when you see social being used for the right reasons. And then again, what a time it is for brands to leverage this moment and connect with these people on an emotional level. In fact, The CMO for the UN, Aaron Sherinian, in an interview with The Drum recently said that “silence on social issues could be the kiss of death for brands” and it’s true – we have so many choices to make on a daily basis, brands that make us feel like we are apart of something bigger, in my mind, will be the last ones standing.
At the beginning of the year, Dove teamed up with Twitter to tackle the issue of body shaming in the online space. In 2015, the Ad Council released a custom emoji for millennials to use on social to call out bullying. Always’ #likeagirl campaign empowers young women by exploring the phrase ‘like a girl’ and the impact it has on society.
Back in 2013, an OMD US led initiative saw Naked Juices partner with Wholesome Wave who then joined forces with Farmville to raise awareness of food deserts (neighborhoods that don’t have access to healthy fruits and vegetables). The virtual farming community grew Naked Juice branded pineapples, a new crop in the game, to help end the epidemic. Not only this, the proceeds from purchasing special limited edition Spinach crops, went directly back to Wholesome foods. The campaign delivered on awareness, and those exposed were 253% more likely to purchase Naked Juice. Everybody wins.
Then we see Ariel, a detergent and washing powder manufacturer in India (who would have thought), help bridge the gap between gender equality with their campaign #sharetheload. Although it wasn’t just social media that spread the good word, it was perhaps its instantaneous nature that meant it could be spread quicker.
So that is why I’m looking forward to the D&AD Impact awards, because at a time when social media can be riddled with negativity, I’m ready to see more of the good, positive stuff!