What do we really know about a purpose campaign? We know that eliciting an emotional response and sustainability are strategies that can deliver greater brand strength and appeal. Beyond that, there’s little else. So little, in fact, that the industry hasn’t even agreed on how to properly define a purpose campaign. The ARF and Kantar set out to uncover those defining characteristics. The result is Cracking Brand Purpose, a study completed in late 2019 that establishes a best-in-class framework that can be used to inspire, develop and evaluate purpose campaigns.
A pool of forty-five campaigns were selected for examination, ranging from award winners to those that had negative outcomes. These were analyzed through four lenses: brand, culture, humanity and impact. Branding and behavioral change were the most frequently listed objectives of purpose campaigns.
Your campaign should connect to your core. Linking to your central brand proposition makes for an ownable and differentiated campaign.
The analysis found that a purpose campaign must relate to something bigger than the brand. It is a contribution to the good of humanity, and among its most important elements are: You, Them and The World. Authenticity is key. Brands whose purpose is already recognized by consumers are one step ahead of the game. For others, a purpose campaign is an opportunity to draw on their own DNA to align with a purpose. Those who do so authentically will be recognized.
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