Great ideas have the power to fundamentally change the way we think, act, believe, buy, love and treat each other. In even the most uncertain of times, creative thinking can lead people to discover similarities where they once thought none existed, or to change their perception of the world and the many complex, multifaceted truths that make it go round. Ideas have the power to bridge the right and the wrong side of an argument to meet with mutual respect and understanding somewhere in the middle. Great ideas – driven by purpose and by a creative force for good – have the power to create, bridge, and change entire communities.
During the D&AD Impact Awards, the Community category celebrates ideas that effect community in its many facets; either by starting a new community, nurturing an existing one, or building a community around a common interest, shared asset or geographical area. The projects, products or initiatives that excel in the Community category demonstrate actionable work that helps communities build on their assets, abilities and interests, and fosters community and engagement among groups such as company employees or projects that empower communities with information, education and new skills.
During the 2016 Impact Awards, community was represented in many forms. Most notably, as winner of the prestigious White Pencil award, REI’s #OptOutside campaign, in creative collaboration with Venables Bell & Partners, rallied communities of retail and outdoor enthusiasts alike to opt out of participating in the notorious Black Friday sales and instead spend the day outdoors. The outdoor retailer closed the doors of its over 143 stores, offered all 12,000 of its employees a paid day off, and suspended all e-commerce for the biggest national shopping holiday of the year. Social media mentions soared 7,000%, with more than 2.7 billion PR impressions in just 24 hours alone. What’s more? The #OptOutside campaign led to an additional 150+ businesses following suit, and hundreds of State Parks opening their gates for free. The outdoor retailer inspired 1.4 million people – from outdoor enthusiasts to avid shoppers – to spend their day outdoors, and built some pretty incredible communities of people along the way.
Winner of the Wood Pencil at the 2016 Impact Awards, David, in a campaign for client Burger King, called attention to the LGBTQ community with its one-of-a-kind “Proud Whopper,” a burger wrapped with the colors of the rainbow. People far and white flocked Burger King restaurants around the nation to discover what made the Proud Whopper so different from the rest of the menu, largely expecting differences in flavor or ingredients. To their surprise, it was the wrapper that made the Proud Whopper stand out from the rest – written inside the wrapper was a message: “We are all the same.” The campaign quickly became the #1 trending topic on Facebook and Twitter, with over 400,000 blog mentions and 5.2 million views on the campaign spot posted on YouTube. In the end, the Proud Whopper became more than a hamburger, but a proclamation of equality and a beacon for the LGBTQ community.
Have a project or initiative that seeks to impact the world through community? Learn more about the Community category, other Impact categories, and how to enter to win a D&AD Impact Award during Advertising Week New York this September.