Social marketing is marketing designed to encourage social change


Product: Inclusion of people with Down syndrome!

Promotion: This on-point online PSA by CoorDown, and accompanying website and social media campaign, show that the “special needs” label often applied to people with Down Syndrome doesn’t make sense. linksexpert After all, people with Down syndrome have the same needs as everyone else: the need to be accepted and included. The online video was paired with a #notspecialneeds campaign on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, which also prompted visits to

Price-cutting: Breaking the common, harmful habit of thinking of people with Down Syndrome as “special needs,” as this serves as a barrier to equal treatment.

Place: Online—the flagship video invites people to visit, learn more about World Down Syndrome Day, and engage with the hashtag.

Why we love it: CoorDown breaks down the stereotype with a humorous premise: “special needs” would be unusual needs, such as the need for celebrity wake-up calls or meals of dinosaur eggs. Then, it drives the point home with this message: “What we really need is education, jobs, opportunities, friends, and some love. Just like everybody else.” We love that the entire ad showcases people with Down Syndrome telling their own story!

2. Plastic Bags Kill

Credit: Digital Synopsis

Organization: Designed by BBDO Ad Agency, Malaysia (exact organization unknown)

Product: Reduce disposable plastic bag use in favor of reusable bag use.

Promotion: Striking imagery and messaging right on plastic bags: the message “Plastic bags kill” and the image of a struggling turtle.

Price-cutting: Make people think about how an ingrained habit harms marine life, so they’re less inclined to accept plastic bags. When customers carry the bags, it looks like they’re strangling the turtle with their hand. linksexpert After this disturbing scenario, they’re sure to think twice the next time they’re offered a disposable bag (and will be more inclined to bring a reusable bag)!

Place: Retail stores, most of which offer disposable plastic bags

Why we love it: This campaign appeals to strong emotions by placing the message on the undesirable habit —equating the act of using the bag to harming the turtles.

3. Help a Small Dane

Organization: Help a Dane, an initiative aimed at increasing sun safety among Danish people on international holidays. This initiative is organized by the Danish Cancer Society.

Product: Encourage parents to shield their children from sunburn by applying sunscreen, keeping kids shaded, and having them wear sun hats, all to protect children’s extra-sensitive skin and reduce their skin cancer risk.

Promotion: Humorous video and social media campaign, starring children from Mallorca, a popular holiday destination among Danes.

Price-Cutting: Danes usually get sunburned on holiday because the UV radiation that many Danes are exposed to in a week on popular holiday destinations equals the UV they are exposed to in six months while in their home country. 4 out of 10 Danes are sunburned while vacationing. So, Danish parents clearly aren’t thinking about sun protection as often as they should be. This spot brings much-needed attention to sun safety.

Place: Online, via the video and an ongoing social media campaign. In addition to the video, the organization distributed sun safety kits to families with children who were flying out of Copenhagen Airport.

Why we love it: Help a Small Dane addresses the sunburn problem with needed urgency, but uses well-placed humor that its Danish audience appreciates. The campaign’s art director told Goodvertising, “Most people generally don’t like being told what to do, but Danes possess an admirable ability to laugh at themselves. The humorous nature of the campaign allows us to hold up a mirror to the Danes and show them how ridiculous it is to neglect sun protection. It’s an urgent reminder that invites them to play along and poke fun at themselves.”

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