Viacom’s Witness the Power of Story

Viacom is aiming to get people to pay attention by projecting statistics directly onto buildings. Viacom teamed up with Witness, a human rights organization for a series of PSAs, “Witness the Power of Story.” The spots are being rolled out across Viacom’s networks, including MTV, VH1, CMT, BET and Spike.

The PSAs draw attention to each network’s social good campaigns, which are geared toward their specific target audiences: Look Different, MTV’s effort to combat gender bias; VH1 Save the Music Foundation, which is dedicated to keeping music education in public schools; CMT Empowering Education, an initiative to improve rural education; BET’s What’s At Stake, a campaign for empowering African-American millennials, and Spike’s Veterans Operation Wellness, a campaign for veterans’ health issues.

The PSAs include shots of these statistics and reactions from passersby, and each spot directs viewers to a website, Witness.Viacom.com, which includes links to the networks’ charitable initiatives and encourages people to upload photos or videos showing how they’re making an impact to Instagram using #story4change. Viacom also hosted a video booth at South By Southwest for the campaign, asking attendees to record their experiences with these issues.

Take a look and what went into getting the campaign to come to life:

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Ad Love: CVS and #BetheFirst

Drugstore giant CVS Health and its foundation plan to spend $50 million over five years to bolster anti-smoking efforts with a particular emphasis on young people.

The company recently announced plans to fund Be The First, a campaign that draws its colloquial inspiration from a goal to form the first generation of Americans to spurn tobacco.

The push comes more than a year after CVS stopped selling cigarettes, saying that smoking conflicts with its mission of promoting healthy living. CVS and the CVSHealth Foundation will share the costs of the campaign. Be The First will emphasize education programs, social media and marketing initiatives through groups such as the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Scholastic Inc., the American Cancer Society and the National Urban League.

Cigarettes and secondhand smoke cause cancer and other preventable diseases.

CVS set several concrete goals for the five-year campaign: cutting the national youth smoking rate by 3%, reducing the number of new youth smokers by 10% and doubling the number of college campuses that ban tobacco usage.

Check it out:

Starbucks Pushes Baristas to Vote

The Race for the White House has thus far been quite interesting. I will just say, please be sure to get out and vote. If you work for Starbucks, you’ve likely heard this message from your boss in the past week or so.

Coffee company Starbucks is urging its American employees to register to vote, chairman and CEO Howard Schultz wrote in a letter on Monday.

“For decades we’ve created meaningful connections with our customers and served communities. We’re about to answer these questions once again by addressing a problem that many partners have identified as extremely important: increasing voter registration and participation across America.”

The company will be using TurboVote to make it easy for all U.S. employees to register to vote from both computers and mobile devices. Schultz said that he got the idea from a February forum with employees in Brooklyn when he asked what the company could do to emphasize citizenship.

There were even rumors last year that Schultz was considering a campaign for the White House himself, which he shut down with an August op-ed in the New York Times. However, that doesn’t mean that the CEO is loving the current batch of presidential candidates. Last month, Schultz said that the US presidential election has turned into a “circus” and he has “grave concern” about the country’s future.

This is not the first time Starbucks has promoted voting; they gave customers who said they voted on Election Day in 2008 a free cup of coffee. Here’s a flashback:

Buy a Lady a Drink.

to launch an eye-catching campaign to halt one of the most onerous tasks faced by women in developing nations: the hours-long daily route of hauling water, usually by foot, over long distances.

Obtaining water is a real issue – here in the US and worldwide. The statistics don’t lie: at least 760 million people lack access to safe, secure and clean water. Women and children spend about 140 million hours a day collecting water. And while mobile technology has opened more economic doors, one disturbing fact is that more people worldwide own a cell phone than own a toilet. Stella Artois’ campaign, which enlists Water.org’s founders Matt Damon and Gary White, is a step in raising awareness about this massive problem.

The campaign started with Stella Artois donating $1.2 million to the cause. The company is raising additional funds through the sales of artistic limited-edition beer glasses. Water.org says the purchase of one glass, at $12, is enough to provide one person clean drinking water for five years. As of now the 20,000 put up for sale in the U.S. have completely sold out.

Water.org already has a strong track record of providing market-based solutions to the lack of clean water worldwide. The NGO has focused on microfinance programs that lend assistance to projects such as building private toilets to gaining access to municipal water taps. As of last fall, Water.org has invested US$10.6 million in almost 450,000 loans across nine countries. Considering the fact water scarcity is one of the biggest threats to global economic and political stability, more efforts such as this Stella Artois-Water.org partnership need to be supported.

Check out one of several videos which highlight what women and children endure in securing water for their daily needs below:

 

Ad Love: Colgate’s Every Drop Counts.

Most of us take running water for granted. Colgate wants you to stop it. Stop it now, dammit.

Recently, the brand released the full 30-second spot which will air on Superbowl Sunday, February 7. You won’t find any Colgate products in the ad. Instead, the spot discusses a larger issue—the importance of saving water.

The commercial opens on a man leaving the faucet running as he brushes his teeth. It then notes that when we leave the tap on, even if only for a short period of time, we waste up to four gallons of water each time. The spot tells viewers that four gallons of wasted water is more than some people get in one week.

The campaign uses the hashtag #EveryDropCounts, and asks viewers to use the hashtag as a way to signify their pledge to conserve water when they brush.

Take a look:

Viola Davis and the Vaseline Healing Project

I don’t know about you, but one of the things which irks me most is having dry hands, lips or legs and not having anything to help the matter. There have been times when I’ve left the house, gotten to the train and looked down at my ankles and realized that I neglected to lotion them or my lips are super-dry and I reach into my purse to find that my lip-balm was left at home. The horror is so deep that I will head to the nearest CVS to purchase replacements. Not having these items for a day is uncomfortable. I can’t imagine what it must be like to live without them.

It turns out that for some, not having emollients such as Vaseline is, in fact, a matter of life or death.

In 2014, Samer Jaber and Grace Bandow, both doctors, returned from the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, where tens of thousands of displaced Syrians have settled after escaping merciless violence in their war-torn country, and wrote a joint essay about their experience. In the article,  they revealed that countless refugees they treated needed relief from severe skin problems that could be remedied by simply applying Vaseline.

Vaseline publicly launched an initiative with Direct Relief, an international medical aid organization, to get petroleum jellies and lotions to people displaced by natural disasters or humanitarian crises. Their goal is to heal the skin of 5 million people by 2020.

The brand has already donated 1 million jars of its product worldwide through Direct Relief in 2015 and sponsored dermatological missions to Kenya, the Philippines and Jordan last year. This year, the company plans to return to Jordan, as well as India, Nepal and South Africa.

As part of its Vaseline Healing Project, the company is also putting together virtual relief kits to supplement its jelly and lotion donations. Anyone can contribute to pay for pre-selected items to fill the kits with other modest medical supplies such as thermometers, emergency blankets, soap and gauze.

Vaseline also has implemented a year-long, one-for-one promotion. For every jar of Vaseline jelly or lotion sold, the company will donate two cents, up to a $1 million, to the project.

The brand has also tapped award-winning actress Viola Davis as the spokesperson for the campaign. Check it out:

Netflix Gives $100 Mil to Support Education

Netflix founder and chief executive Reed Hastings, a longtime supporter of charter schools, is creating a $100 million foundation for education, he announced on his Facebook page earlier in the week.

The Hastings Fund launched with grants totaling $1.5 million to the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley and UNCF scholarship funds, donations meant to help minority students access college.

According to the fund’s website, the aim is to, “partner with communities to significantly increase the number of students who have access to rich and holistic educational experiences.”  netflixlogowide

The fund’s chief executive is Neerav Kingsland, a charter-school proponent who previously led New Schools for New Orleans. The nonprofit played a key role in shaping the city’s post-Hurricane Katrina educational system, in which more than 90 percent of children attend charter schools.

Hastings joins the likes of Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, tech billionaires interested in using their money to improve education. Critics have accused them of using their money to reshape education according to their own ideas, circumventing the democratic process.

Find out more about the Hastings Fund here.