Advertising Week


Advertising Week 10th Anniversary Official Guide

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Page 172 of 333

AW2017 171 In 2015, The Rockefeller Foundation commissioned research on the topic of gender parity in the American workplace, revealing that both men and women believe that America is falling short in advancing women to leadership positions. The Foundation wanted the fi ndings of this research to reach beyond the initial news coverage and come to life in a way that would encourage more people to take initiative to solve the problem. sense of lightness." For example, one of the videos in the 100x25 campaign is an animated tale that begins with a mom telling her daughter a bedtime story: "Once upon a time, a long time ago, there was something called a glass ceiling." The daughter asks if the glass ceiling was pretty. The mom replies, "No, kiddo. It wasn't pretty at all. So we smashed it." FIND WAYS TO EMPOWER PEOPLE TO BECOME INVOLVED Many stories about social change that get shared through digital media leave people in a state of despair, which often leads to no action. "Giving people a sense of empower- ment is even more important than inspiration," explains Pariser. That's why you want them have a reason to share your content. At the end of the bedtime story, the narrator says, "Share this video to inspire others. Make your voice heard because change comes by speaking up, by working hard, and by dreaming big. And by building the ladders you want to climb." PUT IT OUT INTO THE WORLD See what happens and how people engage with your story. "Anyone who tells you they can perfectly predict how people are going to react are trying to sell you something," says Pariser. The Upworthy team watches how the audience reacts, and from those learnings, makes tweaks to improve it. While Pariser has always believed that storytelling is a powerful way to take on the status quo, he's been surprised to see the impact that it has on advocacy. "I've learned that if you can reach people powerfully and simply through a story with a message, then the cause stays on their mind and they are likely to do something to make a difference." And in the end, isn't that what we all want? • START WITH WHAT YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE AND WHO YOU WANT TO REACH Ask yourself if you are trying to achieve a shift in opinion or to activate a group of people who agree on an issue but haven't publically expressed their opinion. Pariser says you must know who you want to receive the story, what their experience is, and what they need in order to take action on behalf of the cause. FIND THE RIGHT STORY ELEMENTS TO CONVEY YOUR MESSAGE Upworthy uses a team of story fi nd- ers to look for the perfect emotional story to build the understanding and empathy that can accomplish their strategic and social objectives. "Stereotypes often come from not having contact with a specifi c group of people. But if you can present one very specifi c human being in that group, it often changes how others view the group as a whole—in a positive way," says Pariser. One of the 100x25 videos features Danielle Vogel, a woman who left her career on Capitol Hill to start an indepen- dent grocery store called Glen's Garden. Her story gave viewers a fi rsthand look at the life of a woman entrepreneur. SELECT A MEDIA FORMAT THAT BEST TELLS THE STORY After you fi nd the right story to il- lustrate your cause, decide on the best format to tell it. If you always start with the same format, you may be missing out on the most effective storytelling opportunities. HAVE FUN WITH THE STORY When talking about social change, Pariser fi nds many people get too stiff and use stilted, fl owery lan- guage. "Your content has to compete with your uncle's post about his kid graduating from school and some new viral dance phenomenon," says Pariser. "Be creative and keep a lustrate your cause, decide on the best format to tell it. If you always start with the same format, you may be missing out on the most effective They partnered with Upworthy, a website devoted to sharing stories about important issues, to help them start a global conversation about gender equality. The resulting initiative was 100x25, a series of videos launched in 2016 advocating for gender inclusivity in the workplace and bringing more women into the C-suite by 2025. The title refers to the specifi c goal of getting 100 Fortune 500 companies to name women CEOs by the year 2025. The videos were posted on as well as on YouTube and promoted through social media using #100x25. To date, they have gotten more than 4.3 million views. "We've found that if you give people a clear, emotional story of what's happening in the world, then they want to do something about it," says Eli Pariser, co-founder and Chief Executive of Upworthy. He shares six steps your brand can use when you're creating digital media to inspire grass- roots advocacy.

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