We all see it every year. Come June, many brands change their social media avatars with rainbow colors in their logos. Yes, it’s the Pride month again and many brands are putting it out there that they celebrate equality, no matter your sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.
In PR, we call this brand activism. Good as it may sound, not everyone is easily convinced by this. Some are skeptical and some see this as a capitalist’s ploy.
In fact, a study by Sprout Social found that 53% of the consumers surveyed perceive this kind of scheme as a PR and marketing gimmick. About 35% of the respondents perceive brands speaking out as jumping on the bandwagon.
This cynicism has given birth to new terminologies like woke-washing, appropriating social activism, or in the case of Pride Month — rainbow capitalism.
Still, Sprout Social’s data said 34 % of respondents perceive brand activism as a right thing to do. This comes with a challenge to brands to come up with actual programs to prove their commitment to the issues and boost their credibility.
Comm&Sense, a leading PR Agency in the Philippines, also conducted a simple online survey to get a quick pulse about brand activism in the Philippines. Our study showed 93% of online respondents generally believe that brands should do something to support their stance.
In particular, 91% of the respondents said brands should incorporate their programs to the cause they are speaking about. Respondents also see the need for brands to collaborate with non-profit organizations (88%) and cite influential experts about the issues (83%).
The Internet is also seen as a powerful tool in delivering a message. As our data suggests, the Filipino netizens we surveyed are fond of seeing creative advertisements that reflect their advocacies (85%).
What does this all mean? Simple. PR practitioners should regard brand activism as a commitment, not just lip service. Consumers today are more meticulous about the brands they should and should not support and it’s important that brands should walk their talk and not just use the societal issues as frosting to their purpose.
After all, brand activism is not something that brands should dive in headfirst. Knowing your brand’s purpose is crucial in order to stay relevant and build trust with your audience.
To get a full presentation about our brand activism study, get in touch with Comm&Sense today. Send us an email via firstname.lastname@example.org. Together, let’s explore how Intelligent PR can help your business attain the bottom line it wants and the brand love it deserves.