To Lok Ching
When it comes to marketing social missions and impact, we tend to associate them with non-profits or public sector agencies run one of their largest sustainability initiatives – Run For The Oceans. Their brand reputation to effectively educate and encourage participation, raising awareness on specific social issues.
Since 2015, Adidas produce sportswear using plastic waste, collected from marine environments and coastal communities (Runtastic, 2019). They have then created the global movement Run For The Oceans, organized in both 2018 and 2019. For every 1km run between June 8 and 16, Adidas will donate $1 to the Parley Ocean School, an organization that educates young people and their families about what they can do to protect the oceans, achieving long-term behavioural changes. Adidas also commits to eliminate the use of virgin polyester in all its products by 2024 (Adidas, 2019).
Adidas x Parley Sportswear (Parley, 2020)
Run For The Oceans 2019 was particularly remarkable, as it uses the power of athletes, celebrities and running crews to ‘trash talk’ and influence the world to take action through social media. It attracted 2.2 million runners across 194 countries to contribute (Adidas Runtastic Team, 2019a), suggesting that it successfully gained attention from various global communities and how everyone is responsible for fighting against marine plastic pollution if we want a better future for our environment.
Adidas ambassadors David Beckham, Karlie Kloss, Mo Salah help promote Run For The Oceans and marine plastic pollution (Bullion Productions, 2019)
Many more organizations have committed to social missions over the last decade. According to a study by Deloitte, millennials want business leaders to be proactive about making positive contributions to society (Deloitte, 2018), and this is critical since they are now the generation moving through their prime spending years (Morgan Stanley, 2019). Especially for brands like Adidas, they have to persuade consumers that they are contributing to certain causes, instead of only focusing on profits. It increases consumers’ willingness to buy from your company when they know their purchase can help make a difference (The Wharton School, 2019).
On the other hand, leading brands can make good use of their reputation to create significant impacts. The Run For The Oceans initiative received over 24 million views, 8 million social media engagements and exceeded Adidas KPI’s by 240% (This is Lore, n.d.). In addition, Adidas hosted three live events in different countries and made them digitally accessible to individuals around the globe (Adidas Runtastic Team, 2019b), which enhances the level of participation. This shows how running – a simple sport can unite many supporters of Adidas, allowing them to raise awareness and advocate for the issue of marine pollution.
Social missions will reach further when organizations, such as Adidas promote issues that require the attention of everyone in society. It emphasizes the need for them to get involved, and tell the public that they will commit and contribute to achieving those goals together.
Adidas Runtastic Team. (2019a, June 27). Run For The Oceans 2019 – Fighting Marine Plastic Pollution Together. https://www.runtastic.com/blog/en/run-for-the-oceansrecap/#:~:text=Run%20For%20The%20Oceans%202019%20%E2%80%93%20Fighting %20Marine%20Plastic%20Pollution%20Together,cause%3A%20fighting%20marine% 20plastic%20pollution!
Adidas Runtastic Team. (2019b, May 27). Run For The Oceans: Join Us To Fight Marine Plastic Pollution. adidas Runtastic Blog. https://www.runtastic.com/blog/en/run-fortheoceans/#:~:text=adidas%20will%20also%20host%20three,June%208%2C%20World% 20Oceans%20Day.
Adidas. (2019, June). The oceans: Death by plastic. https://www.adidas.com/us/blog/361051.
Bullion Productions. (2019, July 7). Beckham is running for the oceans IN ADIDAS Social Campaign: LBBOnline. https://www.lbbonline.com/news/beckham-is-running-forthe-oceans-in-adidas-social-campaign.
Deloitte. (2018). 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey. https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/global/Documents/AboutDeloitte/gx-2018-millennial-survey-report.pdf. Morgan Stanley. (2019, August 16). How a ‘Youth Boom’ Could Shake Up Spending Trends.
Morgan Stanley. https://www.morganstanley.com/ideas/gen-z-millennials-set-forconsumer-spending-increases.
Parley. (2020, June 30). ADIDAS X PARLEY. PARLEY. https://www.parley.tv/updates/adidasxparley. 5
Runtastic. (2019, May 28). Adidas announces next phase in the fight for the oceans with Upscaled commitment to the PARLEY ocean school program. https://www.runtastic.com/mediacenter/en/20190528-en-run-for-the-oceans2019/.
This is Lore. Run for the oceans. https://thisislore.com/work/rfto.
The Wharton School. (2019, December 18). Incorporating a Social Mission into Your Company. Wharton Online. https://online.wharton.upenn.edu/uncategorized/incorporating-a-social-missioninto-your-company/