Connecting with audiences while doing good

At the Global Marketers’ Week session on the Value of Better Marketing on 20 April, Mars Lead CMO Jane Wakely shared how the company’s brands had given back to society.

Mars divides their brands into three categories: all brands should act in a responsible, inclusive and sustainable way, some may be advocates for particular causes, and some brands can be considered activists, meaning that achieving change is a communication priority. Brands can make an important difference because of their strong cultural impact. Wakely encouraged brands to build partnerships and collaborations with organisations such as the Unstereotype Alliance, Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM), The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and The Lion’s Share to take responsibility in making the world a better place.

These collaborations are most effective when the cause aligns with the values of the brand and the brand makes a true commitment to the cause. Wakely used the example of Pedigree dog food, a Mars brand, which campaigned in several countries to encourage people to adopt dogs even as the pandemic made visiting shelters more difficult. Helping dogs find homes matched Pedigree’s core message, and while having this positive impact Pedigree was able to connect with core stakeholder communities. Wakely’s key takaways were to dream big in issues that truly matter to the brand’s stakeholders and audience, to power up and multiply creativity through strong partnerships while keeping it real and measurable.

The online talk was also the occasion of a GARM announcement: the launch of an Aggregated Measurement Report, which tracks brand safety performance across the most important social media platforms.

Isabel Massey, Global Media Director at Diageo, called the report a “key milestone”. “We can only pivot to the digital space if we can trust it”, she said, pointing out that advertisers can make platforms move faster in making sure that harmful content is not monetised and will be taken down faster. “The work is just beginning”, Massey stressed, and even while there is no perfect solution in sight, advertisers should not let it slip.

“This is about brand safety, but it is also about social safety. What is at stake is our brands doing their part to protect that”, said Wakely, summing up the value of better marketing.