On March 8th we celebrated International Women’s Day, a day in which we recognize the extraordinary contribution of women in today’s world. According to the International Women’s Day website, March 8th “is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.”
Several companies joined the celebration this year with different forms of advertisements and marketing campaigns. A McDonald’s in Lynwood, California, even went so far as to flip their iconic golden arches upside down in honor of women everywhere.
That’s not all. McDonald’s also changed its logo on all social media channels while dozens of locations had special International Women’s Day packaging, including fry boxes, cold cups and bags. The inverted “M” was even printed on employee hats and t-shirts. McDonald’s said they are proud to share that, in the U.S., 6 out of 10 restaurant managers are women.
Now more than ever, social causes are hot ticket items for brands to attach themselves to, in order to build their presence. While I applaud the efforts of McDonalds for their recognition of women and their significance to the company, it does seem like they are using the day solely to build brand loyalty.
There is nothing wrong with utilizing ads and marketing campaigns to build brand loyalty, but as Assistant Professor of Marketing at the New York City College of Technology, Denise Sutton, put it to USA Today, “When I see something like that, it’s nice for International Women’s Day, but what is McDonald’s doing the other days of the year? How are they promoting and appreciating women on other days?”
That makes you stop and think doesn’t it? How many of these companies that promote their brand for social causes actually do more than just flood social channels? How many back it up and make a difference for the cause they’re associating with?
Well, worry no more. Many brands are putting money where their proverbial mouth is. There are plenty of companies that can be applauded for their efforts and charitable contributions. Here are just a few that can be commended.
According to Gap Inc, Old Navy is no stranger to the power of women. Their leadership team is comprised of 65% women. For International Women’s Day, they felt that it was not only time to celebrate and honor women today, but also to remember those who came before and paved the way for women everywhere.
So in Manhattan Old Navy adorned the statues of Eleanor Roosevelt, Gertrude Stein, Golda Meir, Harriet Tubman and Joan of Arc with beautiful floral installations. Did you know that out of almost 150 public historical statues in New York City, only five depict historical females?
But making the streets of New York beautiful during the snowy, gloomy season isn’t the only thing Old Navy did to celebrate. They sold limited-edition t-shirts and continued their support of Monumental Women with a $25,000 donation to the Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Statue Fund.
This year, Whole Foods celebrated International Women’s Day by asking for donations to the Whole Planet Foundation’s Prosperity Campaign. The campaign, “Power Her Potential,” helps alleviate poverty for the world’s poorest people—mostly women—living in communities that Whole Foods sources products from.
With 100% of donations going directly to programs to alleviate poverty, Whole Foods hopes to raise $3 million to increase the foundation’s current reach.
BrewDog kicked off International Women’s by launching their latest protest beer, Pink IPA. The women of BrewDog launched Pink IPA to address gender pay inequality in the U.S. and around the world, and to expose sexist marketing to women, particularly within the beer industry.
For the month following International Women’s Day, BrewDog will be donating 20% of its proceeds— equal to the percentage gender pay gap in the U.S.—from canned Pink IPA and Punk IPA to causes that fight against gender inequality.
What does your brand do to promote brand loyalty? Do you find yourself utilizing social causes, but need a little help in coming up with creative ways to do so? Drop us a line and we can take care of the creative side so you give more to your charitable side.