by Jordan P. Kelley, Content Director, Brand Storytelling
As we collectively entered the year 2020, the trending word in the brand marketing and advertising space was "purpose". A confluence of greater social understanding of equity and diversity combined with access to information across the internet created a more critical and discerning consumer. Some brands took a shot at responding with "authenticity" and were destroyed in the court of public opinion. Others took steps to bring attention to inequity, hunger, disenfranchisement, and social injustice, and have helped to advance those causes.
And while those steps in the right direction are enough in the best of times, ultimately people demand more in the worst of times. For many Americans living in fear, pain, anger, and disgust over the killings of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and the subsequent protest in the face of those who would rather maintain the status quo than hear a people's demand for equity and justice, these are the worst of times.
The difficulty of the moment is only compounded by a lack of clear leadership in the face of a global pandemic and a public crying for justice - leaving many looking to brands, closely. However, brands have a simple way forward: action.
If there was ever a moment to invest in social action, this is it. If there was ever a moment to donate capital, resources, time, visibility, bandwidth, or whatever you have to offer, this is it. If there was ever a moment to operate with purpose, this is it. There's a whole array of ways to participate, from demanding legislative change to extending resources to the disenfranchised to hosting a clean-up in a major city. Brands have the power, the platform, the exposure to catalyze and support the change this country needs.
Follow this link to an article in The Cut that offers ways you can take substantive action not only as an individual, but within your organization and as an organization. The onus is on those in power to use that power for equity and positive change. The moment for brands to lead with action is now.
About Jordan P. Kelley
Jordan is a versatile creative whose mission is to awaken others to the power of fostering emotion in an audience. He is a writer, reviewer, editor, and content coordinator with a focus on capitalizing on today's new media market and finding ways to encourage the creation of forward-thinking content that brings financial, social, and emotional capital as well as visibility to creatives, brands, and businesses alike.