Cause + Action 2011

From a Real Food Movement to a guy at home in his undies, these CSR efforts took top honours.

A few years have now passed since CSR became “trendy,” with seemingly every brand claiming to be good for the environment, or the community, or whatever they could attach their names to. And like most trends, consumers have started to feel the fatigue, with sales of products claiming to be environmentally friendly on the decline, and an increase in shoppers who don’t believe their claims, according to a study by U.S. research firm GfK Roper.
It isn’t surprising, then, that three of this year’s Cause + Action winners are programs that have proven themselves over time. The awards, now in its fifth year, celebrate brand plans that are “Changing minds. And matter.” This year’s big winner, Hellmann’s, has been spreading its Real Food Movement since 2007, and Cadbury and Purina also added new dimensions to existing programs to make it to the top five this year. These brands are raising the bar by setting new standards for things like real ingredients and responsible sourcing. Those who don’t follow are in danger of falling behind.
Two new programs, for Bell and Stanfield’s, tackled serious health causes in very different ways. They prove that whether you’re a huge media company or a Nova Scotia-based undergarments manufacturer, you can still strap on a cape and save the day. If the cause is true to the brand and the message is spread creatively, success follows.
All submitted cases were judged by a panel of experts, chosen for their marketing and CSR cred, who examined each one based on brand DNA, uniqueness, awareness, legs and overall commitment to the cause. Their scores determined the top five winners, who all prove that in a society plagued by greenwashing and false promises, a few superheroes can emerge from the darkness and shine a little light.

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Overall winner: Hellmann’s champions the Real Food Movement

Cadbury cycles change

Stanfield’s battles cancer in its underwear

Bell tackles tough topic

Pedigree helps pooches

Judging panel