In this connected, politically charged era, it’s no longer optional for large brands to weigh in on pressing social issues. And as some of the most public-facing representatives of their respective companies, Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) are naturally positioned to advocate for the causes they (and their brands) consider most important.
In The World’s Most Influential CMOs 2019 – a report we produced alongside Forbes and LinkedIn – a handful of CMOs stand out for their commitment to fighting the good fight. Here are three shining examples.
At the recent Advertising Week New York, Kristin Lemkau remarked, “Our industry has not always been great at accurately and realistically representing motherhood.” With #ThisMama, an ad campaign featuring Serena Williams, she took a big step in reversing that trend.
The campaign honors Williams’ return to tennis after giving birth, and underscores the challenges that she – like all working mothers – faces in her pursuit of professional excellence and being a great mom.
The campaign is powerful and unapologetic, and positions JPMorgan Chase as forward-thinking on an incredibly important issue.
Syl Saller drew positive attention for beverage giant Diageo when she pledged the company to the Free The Bid initiative, which improves transparency among ad and marketing agencies to provide leadership opportunities for women.
“As advertisers we have the power to normalize gender equality by what we choose to show in our ads, and who we choose to produce them,” Saller said in her statement on the pledge.
Saller and Diageo, well, walked the walk by releasing a line of scotch under the name Jane Walker – a female version of the famous Johnnie. Even though she’s a marketing creation (albeit a shrewd one), Jane Walker was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential people of 2019.
Chris Capossela understands that inclusivity isn’t just the right approach for a company to take, it’s also just good business. Case in point: Microsoft’s Super Bowl spot, We All Win, which showed children with disabilities using video game controllers.
“If our products don’t work for people when they’re suffering from some sort of disability, we’re obviously missing out on a growth opportunity,” Capossela told Forbes.
Microsoft bolsters its commitment to inclusivity by ensuring that its steady stream of content is accessible to people with hearing or visual impairments, or other challenges – no small feat for a company of its size.
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