07 March 2017

'Woke' brands for the win

Millennials and the rest of today's consumers are definitely not as vapid or vain as marketers or anyone may think. Consumers no longer react as they did to celebrity endorsements or even to popular influencers when the tactic was first introduced.

Instead now, having a campaign involve famous faces and micro or macro influencers isn't what brings out the wallets. Thanks to the latest domino to fall in global societal mindset changes, more people are voicing out their opinions for or against various social issues. Consumers therefore want to support brands that do the same by having campaigns that boldly take a stand regarding current social issues they themselves are facing.
An African example is discount retailer Jet's #LoveYourself campaign, which has been running for the past year and encourages women to love their natural bodies. It is a fitting reaction to the growing awareness of the need for more diverse representation of body types in fashion. Considering that the majority of the retailer's consumer base is women of all ages, shapes and sizes, this campaign immediately connected with society, and subsequently received a wave of praise from them, leading to Jet adding larger sizes of lingerie to accommodate more women.
Popular Cape Town based e-commerce site Superbalist's "Make Love" ad for Valentine's this year spoke to their diverse consumer base by representing more kinds of romantic relationships than what is usually represented in African fashion media. The ad features homosexual, same sex, gender-queer and interracial couples. The ad reacts to consumers' demand that more sexualities be shown in a positive light in advertising.

The persistent demands from consumers for brands to take a decisive role in shaping society and representing their values beyond press releases can no longer be ignored. Brands need to be more thoughtful and engaging with their audience and go past the superficial.
Red Mosiane