Kinney Edwards is the U.S. Executive Creative Director of Tribal DDB Worldwide, a global creative agency headquartered in New York City with 60 offices spanning 42 countries around the globe. Kinney recently spoke with The Makegood about his company’s partnership with UNICEF for World Toilet Day, and about Cause Marketing as a whole.
The Makegood: On World Toilet Day (11/19), you launched a campaign on behalf of UNICEF. Can you talk a bit about the campaign? How did it come together?
UNICEF was looking to bolster awareness for World Toilet Day in conjunction with their ongoing efforts around the world to improve access to proper sanitation for all. We were tasked with finding a way to help spread the message and target social influencers globally. While developing campaign ideas, we realized that there was a huge opportunity to deliver the impactful facts surrounding the dangers of open defecation in a way that broke from the more traditional efforts. We needed them to feel something. We decided that the social influencers we wanted to reach would pay attention if we could put them in the shoes of those who would benefit from their help.
We started by dramatizing these dangers in a new graphic style that would stand out against the more traditional messaging. A series of posters and social media assets were designed with a dark and simple children’s storybook feel. We knew that the facts were compelling and if the audience could be exposed to more than one, it would have a deeper emotional impact and push for them to act. That’s why we decided to gamify the facts. The game portion of the campaign brings that “walk in their shoes” perspective to life. It seems simple at first, but as you attempt to progress through the levels, not only are you exposed to the facts, but you experience just how difficult and overwhelming the symptoms of open defecation can be. The frustration brought on by playing the game allows the player to experience a small taste of the larger frustration and struggles those without proper sanitation contend with daily.
The Makegood: How do you at Tribal Worldwide make sure to keep people entertained while also informing them of a new product, service, or cause? What goes into your creative process?
We start with listening to our audience. We learn about their behaviors and trends. We map these learning’s to a key insight. We then craft a narrative around the experience. As we craft this story we find natural and meaningful ways to bring the product or service message to life. The key is making sure there is true value in the experience for our audience and that it’s packaged in a compelling, barrier-free manner. We want our audiences to feel, to play, to learn and to share. If our work does not touch on one or more of those, it’s not working.
The Makegood: How has the presence of digital media, social media, and other new forms of media helped supplement your creative campaigns?
I wouldn’t say it has supplemented our creative campaigns. Instead, these forms of media have extended our ability to tell better stories. They’ve not only helped us further our understanding of who we’re trying to reach but also taught us how, when and where to reach them. We love playing with new media, but we always want to ensure that it’s use is not about being “new”, but rather it’s use helps further enrich the overall experience.
The Makegood: How does advertising for a cause differ from advertising for a product? How is it similar?
When you advertise for a cause you tend to have a deeper emotional bond with that cause and the people working for it vs. a product. There is just something about the opportunity to help a person or group in need with our set of skills, which brings us back to a time when connecting people with products that would enrich their lives felt true.
The Makegood: Do you see a trend of more causes being advertised in more creative ways? Or do you think that this part of marketing needs more creativity?
I think with all of the emerging media platforms and the growth of mainstream social media, you’ll see a continued growth in the presence of cause marketing. Part of this is due to causes having more access to media outlets with less cost associated with them. And agencies are helping to turn the volume up as well. For agencies, it’s simple; the work is rewarding both creatively and culturally. The competition to increase the creative impact for a cause is growing rapidly and will continue to grow.
The Makegood: Thank you, Kinney