Dove is at it again… challenging perceptions of beauty and its impact on young girls and women. What began as a campaign celebrating the diversity of female body shapes has molded into a series of amazing campaigns that keep flowing year-after-year, setting a standard of how brands can identify a central issue, tackle it and make it their own.
After last year’s "Beauty Sketches" ad became an internet sensation, they took it a step further, producing a short film titled "Selfie" which will debut at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. It is a short-form documentary that looks at how social media has impacted beauty standards amongst both teens and their mothers alike. They even combined this with a study conducted by Dove that revealed that 63% of women felt that social media impacts modern definitions of beauty more than print, film or television.
Check out the video and see for yourself. Kudos to the guys at Dove for this. I can’t wait to see what’s next.
More via mashable: Dove Short Film Embraces ‘Selfies’ to Redefine How we Perceive Beauty
While it is more than honourable for brands and corporations to develop initiatives designed for social change, it’s quite difficult to measure the impact that a single initiative has on the larger community. Which is why it was great to read that a new study by the National Bureau of Economic Research showed that the MTV reality show “16 and Pregnant” has made an impact on decreasing rates of teenage pregnancy in the US.
By analysing Nielson TV ratings combined with birth records across the country, they have concluded that the show prevented over 20,000 births in 2010 alone.
MTV has surely had their share of controversy when it comes to its programming, but you can’t deny the work that they have done to counteract some of this by producing shows like “16 and Pregnant” along with its MTV Voices initiative, Choose or Lose and other similar programs. It’s nice to see that some of their work is actually making an impact, with some actual statistics to support it.
Read more about this research here: MTV’s ‘16 and Pregnant’ Good Birth Control? via Parents.com
Of the 155 million iPads sold since its 2010 debut, 10 million (6 percent) were in schools as of June 2013. (source: Bloomberg Businessweek).
Technology in schools can be addressed in one of two ways: either with great innovation or great fear. There are a number of educational leaders whose fear of the Internet’s bottomless pit prevents them from incorporating tablets and other technologies in schools. However it’s also inspiring to hear stories of educators who understand the importance of digital literacy and use that to intelligently incorporate these technologies in schools. The way I see it: there are only upsides to this situation.
But what role can companies like Apple, Samsung and others play in making this process easier for educators, while making their technologies accessible to a wide range of children across economic means? Is it the responsibility of the companies themselves that are making millions from selling bulk orders to schools or the governments or school districts that incorporate these technologies? I think there are endless opportunities for the two entities to work together here. The idea of this inspires me beyond belief.
Great article on this topic in Bloomberg Businessweek: The iPad Goes to School
When Sam “Sambo” Mockbee founded Rural Studios in 1993, he started with a modest, but monumental idea that helped to define the concept of what is now known as “social justice architecture.” Little did he know that years later, his program of using reused wood for Auburn University architecture students to design low-income homes for communities in need would actually make it to the mass market some 20 years later. Now, residents in cities around the US have access to buy some of the homes designed by these aspiring architects for as much as $20,000.
Since 2005, students of the program have designed up to 12 homes for local Hale County Alabama residents. Their latest nation-wide initiative is being made possible through a 20K City Challenge fundraising initiative that they launched this fall, seeking funding to build more throughout the US.
There are a few things working here that I love:
1) Providing real-world experience for students by giving them an actual project that goes beyond theory and into real-world practice.
2) The fact that this program has gone from a classroom idea to an initiative that actually provides affordable housing for those in need is beyond applaudable. After all, how many architecture students can say that their work and vision conceptualised in a classroom actually came to life in-market, BEFORE graduation?
3) This is a great model that can be used for other universities and learning institutions. There is no better way to inspire learning than to make it useful. Go beyond theory, text books and lectures and get your hands dirty! This can not only develop more prepared students/turned graduates/members of society, but when used in initiatives like this can prove beneficial to the community as well.
I look forward to hearing more from these guys.
Photo via Fast Company
More Here: http://www.fastcoexist.com/3017309/this-impeccably-designed-20000-house-could-soon-be-yours
This March (2013), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched a worldwide search for new condom ideas in an effort to further prevent the spread of HIV, sexually transmitted diseases and assist with family planning. The thinking here is… if more condoms are made to feel good, people will be more willing to use them. Makes sense to me.
After receiving over 500 applicants, 11 were chosen to move forward with Phase 1 of the process where each idea received $100,000 for development. After 12-18 months, the Foundation will further assess the success of each project and award up to $1 million to projects that they think have a good shot at making it to market.
Check out 8 of the 11 ideas as profiled by Fast Company here: http://www.fastcoexist.com/3021941/8-amazing-condom-concepts-that-actually-feel-good-funded-by-the-gates-foundation
More about the Gates Foundation’s “Grand Challenges” initiative here: http://www.grandchallenges.org/about/Pages/Overview.aspx
Turkish Airlines has created a new platform that makes it easy for passengers in Business Class to discover and invest in Turkish start-ups through its Invest on Board program.
Want a captivated audience? It doesn’t get much better than in-flight passengers. After all, where else can one go while sitting 30,000 ft in the air? So why not use this tactic to elevate and support budding entrepreneurs in the local market? This is definitely the way forward.
Be Cool, Be Good: A nice slogan from the guys from Twins for Peace, a Paris-based footwear line that provides a pair of shoes to children in need for each pair purchased. They have also utilised profits from their retail space and accessories line to invest in education, health-care and other services in communities across Brasil, Mozambique, Colombia and more. The shoes themselves are pretty simple—no frills, bells or whistles. But the premise of the company is pretty cool… and good. :-)
Check out their promo video and concept here: Twins for Peace
“Can you have a socially responsible youth marketing agency? The answer, 12 years later, is absolutely — and more. We exist to benefit the lives of young people but through a self-sustaining profit model.” —Michelle Clothier, Co-founder, Livity
I’m a huge fan of the work that these guys are doing at Livity. It’s a great agency that connects young talent with real-life work, while also providing a service to brands. They also recently opened up shop in South Africa, which I definitely have my eye on!
Imagine, a global youth agency that utilises the talent and insight of young people on the ground, combined with a magazine written and produced by young people all over the world. I’m a fan.
More in the Evening Standard, here: http://www.standard.co.uk/business/business-news/growth-capital-doing-social-good-is-always-in-fashion-for-youth-media-duo-8977122.html#!