There were two themes that dominated February; one was politics and the other was the ‘L’ word….Love of course!
Of course, the message of love didn’t stop at conventional relationships; fuelled by the recent political landscape and news stories, instead, it evolved into a message of ‘love thy neighbour’ – respect, acceptance and fairness.
Below I run through some of the top content campaigns that February brought us, to spread a little love.
Part of the lure of the Super Bowl game is the half-time entertainment and the adverts.
Donald Trump’s presidency is still proving to be divisive and inflammatory and his recent immigration decision has done little to prove his popularity among the masses, not that I imagine he is letting that deflate his ego.
Personal political views aside, Budweiser used their Super Bowl slot to send a powerful message of pro-immigration to the world. “Born the hard way” depicted a fictionalised version of Adolphus Busch and his journey to the united states where he went on to create Budweiser with Eberhard Anheuser, a fellow immigrant.
Naturally, the campaign caused outrage among Trump supporters, who rallied to boycott the brand, but it sat among a variety of other campaigns from Coca-Cola, Audi and Airbnb that also conveyed messages of equality and tolerance.
A number of high-profile cases, and a spotlight on ‘laddish’ behaviour has meant that attitudes towards sexual respect, consent and abuse has become a topic for concern.
The Home Office launched the first phase of the quirky campaign to focus on domestic abuse, and the second phase has focussed on the issue of sexual consent.
Aimed towards 12-18 year olds, the adverts use puppetry and young people’s voices and language to engage with its audience in a ‘non-lecture’ format; making the serious content, age appropriate. Despite the odd concept of talking bras and body parts, the message is strong and clear and is successful in communicating the boundaries of a healthy relationship, the content certainly works to capture the audience’s attention.
The campaign is also underpinned by a number of teaching materials to be used in schools, designed to help students understand what a healthy relationship is and how to maintain it; enabling them to develop the key skills for healthy relationships such as respect, empathy and negotiation.
I know that Lucy included Sainsbury’s campaign in her previous post, but I just want to give it another nod this month.
Sainsbury’s have long been an advocate of the LGBT community and have continued to champion their unwavering support by featuring same-sex couples in the long-running #fooddancing campaign, and their short-run seasonal campaigns like Christmas and Valentines.
Sainsbury’s also hit the press for selling same-sex valentine’s day cards for the first time; even for the most hardened valentines sceptics, this has got to thaw your icy hearts.
Tesco’s long-running campaign continued into February with a tale of a Son making his signature dish for his Dad….and his date.
The supermarket giant has previously relied on product focussed campaigns, so taking a consumer-centric direction was a tactical shift.
It’s no secret that food and meal times is an intrinsic part of family life, and the campaign gives viewers a warm and cosy feeling as it tells the stories of the meals that we make for our loved ones.
This campaign isn’t replacing the service focused ads starring Ruth Jones and Ben Miller, but will run alongside them, and with the price focussed campaigns from Lidl and Morrison’s, we may see the birth of another campaign angle too.
On the flip side of the top content campaigns, is the most catastrophic content campaign. And that award goes to the iconic The London Dungeon.
Social media users up and down the country were outraged at the bizarre and tasteless posts that appeared on their profiles. Glorifying prolific ‘women killers’ Henry VIII and Jack the Ripper, inciting the murders of sex workers, fat-shaming and praising femicide – The London Dungeon tried to dismiss them as ‘dark’ jokes.
The posts that caused the most upset read;
“What’s the difference between your job and a dead prostitute? Your job still sucks!”
“Wow, you should really wear makeup more often”
“You have such a pretty face; female translation: You have a terrible body”
All of the posts were later deleted and a feeble apology issued, but what’s more terrifying than their exhibits is the fact that more than one person thought this campaign was a good idea.