The 9 Best Inclusive PR and Marketing Campaigns of 2019

Anyone who knows me and follows this blog will now probably no that one of the main things I talk about is – Inclusivity. It’s something I talk about a lot because it’s something I really care about and it’s something my research centres around. I’ve seen a few people starting to round up their favourite and most effective PR and Marketing Campaigns from 2019, so I thought I’d have a go myself at rounding up my Top 10 Inclusive PR and Marketing Campaigns of the year. In no particular order:Savage x Fenty – Fashion Show

Savage x Fenty Fashion Show

This was an easy one for me I automatically knew this would feature in my top, for me Savage X Fenty has been the stand out brand in 2019 for promoting inclusivity and diversity in the fashion industry. It came in at completely the correct time to juxtapose the mistakes made by Victoria Secret and gave fed up consumers a taste of what true inclusivity looks like. I really recommend everyone watches the show themselves. But to sum up the fashion show celebrated all body types, races, genders and disabilities. Some of my personal favourite moments included Laverne Cox’s (transgender icon) appearance and the model with the gold prosthetic leg absolutely working the runway. I have an entire blog post on the show you can check out for more.

Renault Clio – Thirty Years in The Making

If you haven’t seen this ad watch it. This is a pretty recent find but something I fell in love with the moment I saw it. A few friends and family members mentioned this ad to me and said I should check it out (I bore them talking about inclusivity constantly). The Renault Ad features a love story between a female same sex couple and the ups and downs of them hiding their relationship and ultimately ending up together in the end. The advert is so beautifully made and really does justice to females of the LGBTQ+ community.

Mattel – Brail Uno

This is something I’ve mentioned before too, so I’ll keep it short, but Mattel have been another stand out brand for me in 2019 – they have focused so much on previous criticisms of their products and worked to bring their brand up to speed with modern forward thinking consumers and that is something that should be commended. Their addition of a Brail version of their popular game Uno is a huge win for the brand and should definitely be celebrated on the list.

RAF – No Room For Cliches

This is another ad that I absolutely love, it breaks down every stereotype that has ever existed of women and shows them in the most amazing light. It also features people of colour as well which is a major plus for me too. This ad ticks several inclusivity boxes and is definitely something other brands should be looking to for inspiration

Benefit – Kate Grant Brand Ambassador

In 2019 Benefit Cosmetics, announced Northern Irish model Kate Grant as their new brand ambassador. Kate Grant is the first model with down syndrome to be used the brand and marks a huge step for representation of disabilities in the beauty industry. The photos of Kate Grant were shared all over the brand’s social media and were praised for the choice.

Simply Be – We Need New Icons

This is a campaign that I personally saw a lot on social media and that involved influencers and real people. Plus size fashion brand Simply Be teamed up with some curvy and body positive fashion influencers for this campaign which celebrated all shapes and sizes and overall body confidence. I personally loved the message of this campaign and thought it was great that the brand got influencers involved to spread the message.

Post Office – Journey to Pride

This campaign again tore on my heartstrings a little bit, the Post Office released a series of four videos on Youtube titled ‘Journey to Pride’ which charted a different one of their employees journey to accepting their sexuality. The videos have a really nostalgic feel and are beautiful to watch.

Bumble – Find Them on Bumble Bizz – London

This campaign which featured around London was the second version of Bumble’s ‘Find Them on Bumble’ Campaign which first started in New York. This Campaign celebrated the diversity of London, featuring all real people that you could find on Bumble Bizz.

Gillette – The Best Men Can Be

I absolutely loved this campaign from Gillette this year which came as a response to the Me Too Movement and challenged the ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ mentality. The advert empowers men to bring each other up rather than down and to challenge sexist/violent/hateful behaviour and not laugh it off.

Black Friday – Simply Discount Deals or a Clever Marketing Ploy?

Today I’m talking all things – Black Friday, you’ve probably heard of the event that’s being named ‘the shopping event of the year’. The American Tradition, of a discounted shopping day after Thanksgiving, gained popularity in the UK from 2013 onwards, with Asda taking part in 2013. Black Friday is a day of huge discounts by retailers – allowing savvy customers to get their Christmas shopping done with huge savings. Whilst Black Friday is only one day, many retailers have chosen to partake in ‘Black Week’ giving customers a full week to grab discounted merchandise and don’t fret if you miss out on that there’s always ‘Cyber Monday’ a discount day dedicated to online retailers, 3 days after Black Friday. Sounds like a lot? Right. Well today I’m taking a look at why retailers choose to provide these slashed price deals to their customers. As well as customers perceptions on Black Friday, is it too much? Are customers over whelmed by the amount of deals? Or do customers love these giant discounts?

I wanted to know people’s perceptions on Black Friday so I asked my Instagram followers a few questions on the mega discount day (200 people responded). Here’s the results: 71% of people said they did shop Black Friday deals proving the discount day is still a hit for consumer. But what about where people are shopping these deals, a massive 87% of people said they prefer to shop Online rather than an In-store. This fits with PWC’s recent report on Black Friday in the UK which stated; “In-store crowds and queues from the early years of Black Friday have disappeared from the UK, with transactions now predominantly online (77%).”

The most telling question for me was that 65% of people admitted they would buy things they wouldn’t usually be buying due to the fact they are cheaper on Black Friday. This is predominately the reason I think discount days like Black Friday are a huge marketing ploy. Having attended a student discount night earlier in the year it made me think about this. I witnessed two students buying matching designer suitcases because they were on offer. Would they have bought them if they weren’t discounted? My thinking is no, as a student myself I wouldn’t normally make such lavish purchases, however when discount and reductions are on – it seems to justify excessive spending.

With 65% of people admitting that they would buy things just because they are discounted what’s to stop retailers cashing in and providing more and more lucrative deals to attract customers. This was consistent with PWC’s report which stated; “A genuine, time-limited deal can make customers feel rewarded, and may persuade undecided shoppers to purchase while they can.”

Which’s recent report found that “95% of the Black Friday deal items investigated – which included popular tech, home and personal care products – were available for the same price or cheaper in the six months after.” Therefore customers were led to believe they are getting an amazing deal encouraging them to spend when often these deals aren’t genuine.

One thing I have personally found this year however is that the sheer amount of marketing material distributed by companies is overwhelming. My emails and app notifications have not stopped this week with each brand trying to one up each other on their deals. And it’s not even Friday yet! When participants in the survey were asked about this the jury was still out. 32% of people found the deals overwhelming, 20% reported receiving ‘a good amount’ whilst 35% of people thought ‘the more merrier’ in regards to the amount of information they wanted to receive. So overall 55% reacted positively to the marketing material they were receiving from companies. Showing that the marketing material retailers are putting out is still working in luring customers in to shop these deals.

Overall I think Black Friday is a big win for retailers it has been proven that customers will purchase things they usually wouldn’t or make a buying decision more quickly if an item is on sale. However often retailers aren’t losing out by discounting these items, as Which found these deals often aren’t genuine and are marketed to look like a massive saving when in fact they aren’t. I think it’s up to customers to be savvy in their Black Friday purchasing and consider whether they are really getting a huge saving.

Check out:

Which Report: https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/black-friday/article/black-friday-deals/black-friday-deals-how-to-check-if-a-black-friday-deal-is-real

Pwc Report: https://www.pwc.co.uk/industries/retail-consumer/insights/black-friday-cyber-monday.html

Are Influencer Collaborations Enough To Keep Consumers Craving Fast Fashion?

I recently watched new BBC series ‘Breaking Fashion’ the series is an exclusive look inside In The Style with it’s CEO Adam Frisbee. I have to stay when I first heard about the series I was really excited to watch it and see how things worked at the brand. In The Style is a brand a love and I really liked their collection with Lorna Luxe, so was happy to find out that one of the episodes was centred around this partnership.

Each episode was centred around a different project that the team were working on, 5 of the episodes looked at influencer collaborations and one at the team’s own brand. Why so much focus on influencers, rather than the brand itself you might ask? Well the brand is built around influencer collaborations and Adam himself states in the show that the brand sells much more units of influencer collections than of own brand. But influencers driving traffic to the website in turn, helps sell own brand too.

Adam makes some interesting comments in the documentary about criticisms of fast fashion. Stating that the brand does what it can to stop clothes from going to landfill and only produces the quantities it needs etc. However for me; fast fashion is more about changing the culture of trends. Things coming into fashion and out of fashion so quickly, leading to people throwing them away. Influencer culture is a big part of this as often once an influencer has been photographed in an outfit they won’t wear it again, promoting this throw away culture.

Whilst sustainable fashion as a cause is picking up traction in the media, it was clear to see from the documentary that we still have ways to come in beating fast fashion. The influencer collections proved to be extremely popular for the brand, often selling out very quickly. Influencers portray a luxury lifestyle on social media that consumers are eager to get a taste of and these collections are clearly no exception. Influencer marketing as a strategy is on the rise and is only set to get bigger in my opinion. What we need is more influencers promoting sustainable fashion for the industry to improve, which I think is unlikely to happen in the next few years.

Rise and Shine – Kylie Makes Money From Memes

If you aren’t familiar with Kylie Jenner – she is basically the Queen of the Internet and also the youngest self made billionaire according to Forbes.

In the past week Kylie has made headlines for her ‘Office Tour’ which she posted on her Youtube Channel. But it wasn’t Kylie’s million pound office pad that caused her to make headlines but rather the small sample of her singing the words ‘Rise and Shine’ whilst waking up her baby daughter Stormi.

This led to a Twitter frenzy of memes around ‘Rise and Shine’ and even the Queen of Pop Ariana Grande doing a cover of ‘Rise and Shine’.

So what did Kylie Jenner do? She got her business head on and thought how can I capitalise on this. Honestly she is a mini Kris Jenner if i’ve ever seen one.

She made Rise and Shine merch, selling her hoodies for $65 each, to make a pretty profit off this viral meme.

The hoodie even features the iconic sun with Kylie’s face in the centre which has become synonymous with the meme.

This just goes to show the fast pace at which marketers and brands need to move at to keep up with current trends.

Mattel Shows they Understand the Modern Consumer, by Paving the Way For More Inclusive Products – Other Brands Take Note

For a brand that once prided itself on it’s stick thin unrealistic ‘Barbie doll’, Mattel have been in the news recently but this time for all the right reasons. This month Mattel have been in the public eye for not one, not two, but three amazing new product launches that celebrate the need for inclusion to facilitate a modern day consumer. As someone who is highly interested in inclusion and diversity within marketing, this came as great news for me and I knew I had to write about it straight away.

The first product is a braille edition of the popular card game ‘UNO’ which for the first time will allow visually impaired and sighted folks to enjoy the game together. This is great news for members of the visually impaired community who will now be able to enjoy the game with their family and friends. Personally I think this is a great move for Mattel to show it cares about catering for all of it’s customers.

The second product is probably the one that excites me the most as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. It’s the launch of gender inclusive dolls that are free of labels. The dolls named ‘Creatable World’ have 6 variations and come with customisable accessories including wigs with short or long hair and the option for a skirt or trousers.

The brand states: “Through research, we heard that kids don’t want their toys dictated by gender norms. This line allows all kids to express themselves freely…We’re hopeful Creatable World will encourage people to think more broadly about how all kids can benefit from doll play.”

Lastly the third new product launch is this year’s ‘Career Barbie’ where Barbie is portrayed as a lawyer and not just your regular white and blonde barbie, ethnically diverse barbies too. this is a huge step forward for women’s representation in professional careers and is great to teach young girls that they can be whatever they want to be.

As you can see below this is not your typical ‘legally blonde’ style pink robe and sparkly purse lawyer that some might expect from the brand but instead a professional career look for barbie that shows a modern representation of the working woman.

These developments come shortly after the brand recieved praise in the summer for the launch of a Rosa Parks Doll in honour of the Civil Rights Activist. As well as an African American doll who used a wheelchair. The brand is just going from strength to strength in my opinion. Other brands *cough Victoria’s Secret* should look to Mattel as an example of the right way to respond to criticism of lack of diversity. It’s 2019 and we are here for this change.

We Want Inclusive Marketing and We Want It Now: How Savage X Fenty Has Beat Victoria’s Secret at It’s Own Game

This week saw the release of the much anticipated Savage X Fenty Fashion Show on Amazon Prime. If you aren’t familiar with the brand, Savage X Fenty is a lingerie brand owned by Rihanna. In their own words; “Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty celebrates fearlessness, confidence and inclusivity. We want you to feel sexy and have fun doing it.” Personally I am a huge fan of Rihanna and everything she stands for, so I have followed the brand for a while now.

When I heard about the Televised Version of the Fashion Show, to say I was excited was an understatement, I didn’t look at any pictures before I watched because I wanted it to be a surprise and that it was (in the best way possible).

If you follow fashion you have probably heard a thing or two about the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Many years ago I loved the show and would be excited for its annual return. However in recent years the show has come under fire for it’s lack of inclusivity and diversity. If you haven’t seen the show, all you need to know is that they only include Size 0 models and the Marketing Boss said “he wouldn’t hire transgender models, as it would ruin the show’s fantasy”. (He has now stepped down, as they have hired a transgender model, but it’s all much too little to late for many fans, who see it as a move to fake inclusivity and stop the backlash, rather than actually support diverse women).

So in March this year when Victoria’s Secret announced they were appointing a plus sized ‘Angel’ to their lineup, it seemed like a step in the right direction. Until it emerged that the ‘plus size’ model was Barbara Palvin, a UK Size 8 Model. Yes you read that correctly a Size 8 model. Honestly what a kick in the teeth to real woman of all body shapes and sizes. The average UK Dress Size is a 16 and a US Dress Size 14, so how is this in any way relatable to the majority of consumers. Their marketing team need fired, oh wait. (The 2019 Fashion Show has reportedly been cancelled, coincidence I think not)

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‘Oops, I (FINALLY) did it again’ 👼🏼 #vsfs2018

A post shared by Barbara Palvin (@realbarbarapalvin) on

Victoria’s Secret’s ‘Plus Size’ Model

Enter the Savage X Fenty Show. To me it was everything I expected and more. You can see that Rihanna and her team truly understand real modern women and have created a marketing campaign that supports everyone. Just to reiterate how inclusive this was I’ll provide a quick run down.

The show included models of every body type and size, showing how confident they were in their bodies in the performance art style show. The show was also fully gender inclusive featuring Aquaria, a well known drag race and Laverne Cox, a trans-woman known for being an actor and advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. The show included people of all ethnicities and a disabled women wearing gold prosthetic legs.

So how does all this relate to the consumer? Well, when I watch the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show it makes me feel inadequate, like I’m not beautiful because I’m not a Size 0. I have no idea what their products would look like on me cause the models are twice my height and half my size. Did I feel like this when I watched the Fenty Show? Absolutely not. I was able to see the products on body types I could relate to and it made me feel empowered. This time I was not enviable of the unachievable physiques of the models, but of the confidence that these women exuded.

So what did I do? I went straight on to the Savage X Fenty website and ordered myself some pieces. After the show I knew the brand was one I wanted to support and I loved everything that they stood for. Having spoken to friends they also completely feel the same and prefer to see ‘real’ campaigns rather than airbrushed models who display and unachievable ideal. I think it’s something more brands should consider when producing marketing campaigns and will become a more popular choice over the coming years.