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Social Issues Are Not Just for Politicians Anymore by Niki Gray

In the beginning of this year Gillette released a 48-second spot titled We Believe, which had many turn to social media to voice their opinions. Some reactions were positive, and others were outraged on Gillette’s position on masculinity. Gillette intended to communicate a goal of setting better examples for future generations. They also wanted to start a discussion in order to begin a societal change said Pankaj Bhalla, the brand director of Gillette North America in an interview with CNN.

Gillette is just one of many companies who is taking part in the trend of taking positions on social issues with advertising. In 2018, Nike took a position with their advertisement Dream Crazy, featuring Colin Kaepernick. This position came with waves of positivity and criticism, and in three days Nike had a 31 percent sales increase, which spoke to the success of the advertisement.

A Forbes article written by Carol Cone has predicted the trends of companies in 2019. She says that we will see more cause-related marketing. Companies will have to have a social purpose behind their brand, and this could cause an increase in sales margins. She also says companies have to focus in on what they chose to care about. A company cannot care about every single social issue because they have to align with the values of that organization. These values are imperative for 2019. “Knowing what your brand stands for beyond short-term gains can give brands confidence to take risks if the reward serves their higher purpose,” said Raphael Bemporad. This deeper development of a company’s purpose will give other organizations the confidence to take a stance as Gillette has done. Advertising will continue to be a way companies can speak out about social issues, and 2019 as predicted by Cone will be the year we see this development flourish.

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