For 75 years, the Ad Council has been harnessing the power of media and the marketing sector to make an impact on a wide array of social issues. Its long list of iconic campaigns includes Smokey Bear’s “Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires;” the “Keep America Beautiful” anti-pollution effort; Vince & Larry, the “Crash Test Dummies;” and last year’s viral “Love Has No Labels” campaign.
Annually, media outlets donate more than $1.6 billion in time and space to Ad Council campaigns – a sum total that would make the nonprofit one of the largest advertisers in the United States. Yet, as consumer habits shift away from traditional channels toward social media, the Ad Council wanted to understand how young people are learning about and engaging in causes so they can build new strategies tailored to incoming generations of consumers.
To explore how Millennials are approaching social activism in the age of social media, the Ad Council partnered with us, Crowdtap, a consumer insights and engagement platform. Crowdtap surveyed over 400 U.S. Millennials (18 to 34-year-olds) via its active member community and proprietary research technology to uncover how younger Millennials (18-24) and older Millennials (25-34) compare when it comes to identifying with social issues.
Here are the three ways to inspire action among incoming generations, supported by the studies findings:
Social is a gateway to action
Nearly half (45 percent) of all Millennials we surveyed supported a cause by sharing information about on social media. While this form of support may be denounced as slacktivism, the action often leads to an increase in traditional methods of support, like monetary and in-person participation.
Create the experience of community
A majority of Millennial respondents cited that they gravitated towards causes that spoke to their sense of community and personal duty. Tap into this motivation with messages that are relatable, authentic and evoke emotion around one’s community.
Offer up ways to support that go beyond the dollar
Younger Millennials (18-24) prefer donating their time and effort, while older Millennials prefer more traditional methods of support. That said, if you want to activate both age groups in the age of social, brands should provide ways of support that go beyond the traditional dollar.
The full report, entitled “Social Activism in the Age of Social Media,” can be downloaded here.
Care to watch and listen instead? Here’s the Ad Age full webinar, presented by Tony Foleno (SVP, Research, Planning and Evaluation at the Ad Council) and Claudia Page (VP, Product & Partnerships at Crowdtap).