SS+K

Social Good Summit, 2015

We dropped by the recent 2015 Social Good Summit to hear some incredible people speak about how technology and new media are driving socially good initiatives around the world.  Climate change, female education, data equality and humanitarian aid – particularly around the refugee crisis – drove a great deal of the conversation.

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Notable speakers included former U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine K. Albright on the future of humanitarian aid, Morgan Spurlock shared some knowledge about how to use content to reach audiences and Executive Director of Greenpeace International, Kuma Naidoo on climate change and the struggle for justice.

Then there was eleven-year-old Vivienne Har, who at the age of eight raised $100K to fight child slavery with a lemonade stand and has since launched a social network for charitable giving.

Key takeaways from the Summit:

Gender equality requires data equality.
There were a number of conversations about how to best use data to solve problems, but more prevalent was the issue that largely, we’re not collecting the right data to even understand the issues at hand.

Laverne Cox lead a discussion around data equality and the lack of data on the transgendered community. The U.S Census Bureau survey currently doesn’t offer any questions that identify transgendered individuals, and this is largely a global issue.

Shelby Chestnut of the NYC Anti-Violence Project noted that without data capturing crime rates, suicides or career and housing-related acts of discrimination on the transgendered community, we can’t truly understand the issues they’re facing or create better programs to support their needs.

Emily Courey-Pryor, Senior Director of Data2X , also advocated for better data collection methods to drive gender equality and female empowerment. She noted that the great majority of surveys target “heads of the household”, denying the female perspective on a large range of issues. “The data revolution needs to ensure that everyone is counted. There has to be data equality if you want gender equality.”

Content and context are key to mobilizing the masses towards action.
Documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock showed a short film about one school kid’s mission to better detect pancreatic cancer. While the media often covers the negative aspects of crisis’, Spurlock believes content is the best asset at driving hope-instilled awareness to the global community, “We live in a world of competing sorrows – people can’t be involved in all of it. We need to tell the story about why this cause matters.”

When pressed about whether short-form content dilutes the complexity or gravity of a cause, Spurlock argued that breaking down issues into bite-size vignettes is far more accessible to the masses.

Raising awareness through great content is only the beginning of the process, just how do we engage people to get off the couch and take action? Spurlock believes content’s true value is the ability to emotionally connect viewers to a perspective that hadn’t previously considered, “If you can get someone to walk in another’s shoes, you will get them to act. Empathy. That’s where it all starts.”

Priscilla Natkins, EVP of The Advertising Council, echoed Spurlock’s views on empathy-driving content, but also noted the huge opportunity of social platform-first initiatives that offer external validation to those who participate, like that seen in the Ice Bucket Challenge.

“Slacktivism” isn’t as slack as we thought.
An ongoing discussion point at SS+K is the idea of “slacktivism” – a common ask by many issue and political-driven causes, where users are urged to “sign a petition” or “tweet a hashtag” to show their support. While many traditional activists see this ask as a passive solution that doesn’t truly solve the problem at hand, in recent months the power of digital and social platforms to mobilize a group towards driving awareness has seen positive change, globally.

Executive Director of Greenpeace International, Kuma Naidoo spoke about Greenpeace’s recent success forcing multinational oil and gas company, Shell out of a proposed plan to drill for oil in the Arctic seas. Shell claims the up-front investment in the venture wasn’t worth the potential return. However, Naidoo argued the efforts of over seven-million people who signed the petition and countless others who took to their social channels under #SaveTheArctic campaign were instrumental in raising public awareness and pressure on the energy giant.

David Miliband, President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, noted that while the Pope thinks we’re facing a ‘globalization of indifference’, in an increasingly interconnected world, we’re more aware than ever of the local and global issues we face. “One person alone can’t do much, but now we have the ability to mobilize as a group and get things changed.”

Political change > donations.
While many cause-driven groups focus on leveraging their audiences to drive awareness or donations, Sienna Miller, actress and Global Ambassador for the International Media Corps argued the focus should really be around driving advocacy for political solutions.

South-Korean Diplomat Kyung-wha Kang noted the positive impact political change have had on China’s citizens, “In the last fifteen-years hundreds of people have come out of poverty in China due to economic growth.”

While it was evident from many speakers at the Social Good Summit that political action was the end goal, how exactly cause-driven brands translate empathy and audience action into real political change is yet to be solved. It’s a complex issue, and something we hope will be a chief focus at the next event.

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Moving Through Glass on CNN

We are thrilled about the terrific coverage by CNN today of Moving Through Glass, one of our SS+K Labs projects.

Moving Through Glass is the first-ever augmented reality application providing round-the-clock aid for people living with Parkinson’s. We have been working closely with Mark Morris Dance Group / Dance for PD® on the project for the last year. It is now making its way into the hands of researchers at Weil-Cornell Medical University and Stanford University, and will be available to students at Dance for PD’s flagship studio in Brooklyn.

We look forward to having more to share about Moving Through Glass in the weeks to come.

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Go Forth and Conquer

We are excited to launch our latest work for FreshDirect just in time for all those glorious eating occasions that come along with summer. The campaign, “Go Forth and Conquer,” is about all the endless ways you can use FreshDirect to make your life easier, happier and tastier.

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It’ll make you want to Go Forth and Munch. Or Go Forth and Spoon. Or Go Forth and Mash. Slice. Dice. Scoop. Slurp. Nibble. Dip.

You can already spot some of our work in NYC subways, and there’s a lot more to come – from digital homepage takeovers, to what shows up inside your FreshDirect delivery box.

Here’s some of what you’ll be seeing this summer. All the delectable food imagery that’s featured comes from Johnny Miller and team.

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Cockroach Theory, Dead Cat Bounce… mean what?

When you dig into it, there are a lot of really quirky financial terms.  Coackroach Theory, Dead Cat Bounce, Bear Hug, Stalking Horse Bid… phrases we’re all surprised to learn have deeper meaning.

To help educate people about the crazy but useful financial terms we created Fun With Finance, a series of fun animated videos for E*TRADE that can be discovered and shared on social media.

Read more on Creativity
Watch more at E*TRADE

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Targeting Millennial Cord Cutters

One topic we’ve been increasingly talking about at SS+K is the future of the television business and the growing trend of cord cutting or cord never, particularly among Millenials.  To gain some broader market perspective we joined the AdWeek webinar “Targeting Millennial Cord Cutters.”

Here are some insights we gleaned on why digital video is the way to reach this generation – and how brands like HBO, with advancements like HBO Now,  are ahead of the curve:

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  • Millennials are watching less TV than ever before, but video viewing is at an all-time high
    TV viewership is down 23% year over year. There are more options not only in what to what but in how to watch. In order to be truly successful in reaching millennials, you have to be platform-agnostic.
  • Social is mobile
    Create content that is shareable and enables participation. People share content for their own social currency and good brands actively think through their posts.
  • The cookie is dead
    Marketers will need to be far more nimble to track who’s seeing digital ads. Increasingly, in order to determine what’s working, it’s about tying together 3-4 different levels of data to measure response rates and track conversion.

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Stop Awkward Family Viewing with HBO Go

Update:
Our HBO GO Awkward Family Viewing campaign continues to connect with audiences around the world, earning numerous awards from Cannes, The One Show and The Andy’s, with additional show announcements to come.

Awards:

  • Cannes Lions: 1 Gold, 3 Silver, 1 Bronze
  • One Show Pencils: 1 Best in Discipline (Film), 5 gold, 4 silver, 1 bronze, 4 merit
  • Andy Awards:, 4 Gold, 2 Silver, 1 Bronze
  • Webby Awards: 3 Best in Category
  • D&AD Pencils: 2 Graphite, 1 Wood

Click through to view all 7 Awkward Family Viewing spots and read the industry accolades and press coverage.

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4.1.2014
There are few pleasures greater than diving into a pizza and any of HBO’s award winning sex, drugs, comedy and violence​ shows​. Unless you’re 19 and Dad insists on watching it with you, over your shoulder. This classic family dynamic inspired our latest marketing campaign for HBO GO dubbed “Awkward Family ​Viewing”.

These seven spots were shared across HBO’s social media properties, in digital media, and integrated into HBO’s college campus engagement efforts.

 

For more on HBO Go and Awkward Family Viewing, read:

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In the news

AdWeek: Lenny Stern on Millennials in the workplace

“Part of their day job needs to be about making an impact, doing something meaningful … We as humans should be challenged and pushed. When that kind of spirit comes into a creative industry, it reminds us why we’re here.”

http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/how-millennials-are-changing-way-ad-agencies-work-163740

Wall Street Journal: Rob Shepardson on managing information overload

“[My] guiding principle is ABR—always be reading, on the commute home, traveling, in a cab, standing in line at Starbucks”

http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-to-cut-through-your-to-read-pile-1426004078

Digiday: Kevin Skobac on the power of the new Digg community

“A video campaign we created for a client was organically shared on Digg. The result, surprisingly, was more video views from Digg than almost any other property on the Web.”

http://digiday.com/publishers/digg-going-big-video/

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Sure, You’ve Got Stars, But Have You Found the Moonbow?

I’m thrilled to share my first article in Fast Company today on how to find the quietly powerful “moonbow” people in your company.   Thank you to everyone who contributed to this piece.  Have a read, and let me know what you think.

Fast Company

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We’re thrilled to announce JW Marriott

We’re thrilled to announce a new client to the SS+K roster: luxury hotel brand, JW Marriott. Read Adweek’s take on our first global collaborative assignment with M&C Saatchi.

Adweek

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Yoga and Advertising, Both Threatened By Speed

In this week’s Global Viewpoint I had the opportunity to give some perspective on the balance of act fast, and act purposefully.

“Give our craft the time and energy it deserves, brands the quality they demand and consumers the content they truly care about. Not everything has to be as fast as a Twitter stream, and maybe we will all be better for it.”

You can find the whole piece over at Campaign Live.

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