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4 Things CPG Brands Should Know about U.S. and Chinese Mothers in 2019

Mothers make up some of the world’s biggest target consumer groups, especially across China and America − two of the top priority markets for the CPG parenting vertical.

Despite their importance for brands, recent research reveals 56% of American moms feel marketers don’t understand them.

To successfully reach this cross-generational audience, it takes harnessing a deep understanding of how they’re evolving.

Our latest guide, featuring fresh research conducted on over 2,000 mothers across China and the U.S., reveals some key imperatives to shape a winning CPG marketing strategy in 2019 and beyond.

1. Quality matters more than you think.

Knowing your audience in today’s climate takes a lot more than understanding demographics. For mothers, the key lies in quantifying these elements, shaping a data-driven strategy that speaks directly to them.

Our latest research shows that quality is the number one motivator for moms purchasing baby products in both China and the U.S.

Nearly 1 in 2 new moms in the U.S. and 2 out of 3 new moms in China say they have paid more for baby food they perceive to be higher quality.

While quality is still a top priority, U.S. moms are also highly motivated by price and convenience.

3 out of 4 U.S. moms name ‘value for money’ as a top priority when buying for baby.

This tells us when marketing to Chinese mothers, it’s essential for your messaging to keep the focus on quality. By bringing in food origins, safety standards, and organic ingredients, CPG brands can successfully tap into the core priorities of these consumers.

By contrast, marketing efforts geared toward U.S. moms will likely be more effective if they can link more practical considerations like value and convenience, without compromising quality.

2. Social media is a crucial channel.

For your message to cut through, it’s essential to know which channels will amplify your reach and streamline your spend.

For mothers, social media stands out as a key channel. Our research shows motherhood brings about an increase in social media usage.

40% of U.S. moms say they post more photos on social media after having children.

This is compared to 34% in China.

66% of Chinese moms actively use the popular social platform WeChat. This is more than the average Chinese internet user. What’s more, 48% of U.S. moms report actively engaging with Facebook.

But it’s millennial mothers who take the lead as the most active social media users.

Global internet users spend an average of about 2 hours and 37 minutes on social media daily. For millennials, that average jumps to 2 hours and 53 minutes − almost 3 hours a day.

This tells us any brand targeting mothers today needs to prioritise having a strong presence across the social media platforms most relevant to this audience. As a primary touchpoint along the consumer journey, the strength of your social strategy could make a significant difference in encouraging moms to purchase and beyond.

3. Online communities are key for brand discovery.

When looking at the most influential sources of information in the purchase journey for moms, it’s clear that digital channels are becoming increasingly important, especially in China.

Nearly 2 in 3 Chinese moms are looking to recommendations from other moms on social media as part of the research process.

Close to half of all U.S. moms also consider social recommendations to be an influential channel.

Similarly, we’re seeing more dedicated online communities for moms playing increasingly important roles in the discovery phase.

Parenting blogs and forums are influential sources of information for 58% of Chinese moms and 43% of U.S. moms.

This is key considering social communities have now surpassed online ads, TV ads, and parenting magazines for product discovery.

For brands to effectively engage modern mothers, they need to understand and tap into these communities.

4. Relevant and trusted content goes a long way.

The overarching focus on community is something that needs careful consideration when marketing to moms, especially when it comes to content.

As we now know, today’s moms are very open to recommendations.

More than half say that they’re easily swayed by other people’s opinion.

Their preference for personalized brand loyalty rewards also fits in here, suggesting moms appreciate brands that take the time to get to know them and the things they care about.

Our research shows that in China, the content most appealing to moms is that with a focus on food and nutrition.

58% of Chinese moms use meal planning/nutrition and recipe websites to help with parenting needs.

In the U.S. however, moms are more likely to refer to medical websites like WebMd for help on parenting issues.

This gives us clear insight into kind of content that appeals to mothers, and where different strategies need to come into play. Medical experts may prove effective for reaching U.S. moms, for example, while food influencers may be the best choice for reaching Chinese mothers.

Above all, trust is a major consideration for mothers. Brands who promote authentic, user-generated content, placing a core focus on reputation and quality, are sure to strike a chord.

Reaching the modern mother.

For CPG marketers in the parenting vertical, mothers make up a complex audience, spanning across many generations. But modern mothers aren’t impossible to reach.

The key lies in tapping into the online community that’s continuously taking precedence in the consumer journey.

It means harnessing a deep understanding of who these moms are and what really matters to them − something that can only be done with deep consumer insight that translates far more than their behaviors alone. Download the complete guide to find out how.

Which Smartphone Features Really Matter to Consumers?

With CES 2019 well underway, we can expect some of the top smartphone brands to give us a glimpse into the next generation of handset features.

This year, among the most heavily rumored new features to be revealed are foldable devices, 5G-enabled handsets, a higher number of inbuilt cameras, as well as holographic screen projections and a bigger AI focus.

Leveraging our recent research in the UK and U.S., here we explore which features these consumers say matter the most to them, and get an idea of what frustrates consumers about their current handsets.

Improving core features is crucial for mid-range handsets.

Fancy new features may create the biggest buzz, but improvements to the core phone features are actually likely to drive more sales.

What frustrates UK and U.S. consumers the most about their current handset is poor battery life, which stands significantly above all other frustrations.

This grievance is most acute among owners of mid-range smartphones, who make up around three quarters of those who plan to upgrade their handset in the next 12 months.

Other factors like storage space, slow performance and poor camera quality also feature prominently, especially among the frustrations of the mid-range smartphone owners.

Targeting these frustrations can yield large rewards in the mid-range market.

51% of premium handset owners strongly agreed they are loyal to their current smartphone brand. Compared to the 31% of mid-range handset owners who strongly agree with this statement, it’s clear there’s a lot more room for new customer acquisition opportunities in the mid-range market.

The quality of the core smartphone features can make or break a sale in this highly competitive category, and Chinese brands like Huawei, Xiaomi and OnePlus haven’t hesitated in leveraging these needs to muscle in on the market.

These incumbents have introduced various qualities or features associated with premium mobiles into this mid tier of handsets, all the while keeping a modest price tag.

Around half of UK and U.S. consumers feel Chinese smartphone brands offer better value for money compared to other global brands, or that Chinese brands have the latest smartphone features and are comparable to other global brands.

This has put the onus on global brands like Sony, LG and Samsung to maximize their mid-range offerings to avoid being priced out of the competition by cheaper but formidable rivals.

However, maximizing one feature on a mid-range handset often comes at the price of another feature, meaning different handsets are being targeted to different consumer groups based on their most prominent features.

Samsung is using its new A7 and A9 models to aim for the millennial market, focusing on camera quality and screen size to tap into this consumer group’s desire to post high-quality photos and videos on social media.

Our research shows younger users are much more likely to say camera quality is the most important smartphone feature, and they’re also a lot more likely to say they’d most like to see improvements to camera capabilities in upcoming models.

Although battery life and storage space post the highest scores for all age groups, older consumers value these attributes the most. Processing power, durability and screen size also factor in more heavily among these older consumers, so functionality is still most important for young and older consumers alike.

Premium market features go experimental.

Recent premium smartphone generations have introduced some fairly major changes to handset design and functionality, with the removal of headphone jacks being among the most controversial. Many of these changes were implemented for the sake of better internal hardware components while maintaining sleek designs.

But upcoming smartphone ranges promise to take smartphone capabilities to a new level.

Foldable devices, 3D object scanning and holographic screen projections are just a few capabilities which not that long ago would have seemed far-fetched. And while consumers don’t necessarily know what the benefits or use cases of these features are, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a market for them.

Again, it’s the usual suspects which make up the top five most desired features – storage, battery life, processing, durability and camera quality.

But almost a quarter of consumers would most like to see holographic screen projections, and more than a fifth would like to see 3D object scanning and foldable phones.

Of course, as you may guess, it’s younger age groups who are most likely to stand in line for these features.

16-24s are more than 3x as likely as 55-64s to want holographic screen projections, for example. They’re also more than twice as likely as 55-64s to want 3D object scanning and a bigger focus on AI in future models.

Consumers are enthusiastic about 5G connectivity.

One of the most anticipated potential developments at this year’s CES event is 5G-enabled mobiles.

5G connectivity promises to revolutionize not only smartphone capabilities, but also the capabilities of any other connected device, be that a watch, a car or a household appliance.

For consumers, there’s an obvious advantage to 5G connectivity, especially in relation to media consumption on their smartphones.

Smartphone users are already streaming music, TV shows, films and countless social media videos on their devices. But with 5G promising connection speeds of up to 20x faster than 4G, this enhances the quality, speed and predictability of their mobile entertainment. It also opens up the possibility for other emerging branches of entertainment, such as streaming games online on mobile.

Our data shows the majority of consumers intend to switch to a 5G network on their smartphone, with most (37%) saying they’ll switch as soon as one becomes available.

Consumer awareness of 5G technology is high, with just 7% stating they don’t know what it is.

Against the backdrop of longer handset upgrade cycles, smartphone manufacturers need to position themselves on the leading edge of the industry to capture consumer attention and maintain an image of innovation.

Showcasing futuristic and exciting features is one of the most conspicuous ways of achieving this, and the brands that are perceived to have set the agenda for the next generation of features will benefit in the long run.

The Biggest Media and Entertainment Trends to Watch in 2019

For every brand in media and entertainment looking to strike a chord with today’s consumers, it’s essential to have up-to-date knowledge of the trends that are having the biggest impact.

Entertainment trends in particular are in constant flux, with new platforms, mediums and features changing the way we consume content.

2018 saw the rise of sports viewing on new devices and platforms, and social media continued to evolve into an entertainment hub.

In 2019, we’ll see trends such as the continued reign of Netflix in the video streaming space, even greater popularity of esports, and wider VPN usage. Here’s what you need to know.

Netflix is now the top video streaming service globally.

The streaming giant is now topping the charts in all regions excluding China.

However, the gap between the number of users watching a service and those actually paying for one remains a significant challenge.

47% of Amazon Prime Video users and 61% of Netflix users admit to sharing their accounts with friends and family.

With Netflix set to test a mobile-only, cheaper subscription – specifically targeting mobile users in Malaysia – it’s clear to see the brand is not relying solely on past success.

According to its Director of Product Innovation, 60% of global Netflix users open the mobile app at least once a month, which makes mobile devices a natural environment to invest in.

Gaming on any device is now mainstream.

Gaming is becoming an increasingly crucial part of the entertainment industry. It’s now unquestionably mainstream.

86% say they’ve gamed on at least one device in the past month.

As gaming has become more diverse and casual, it’s less dependent on dedicated hardware, which was has hurt the console market.

The smartphone is the clear winner in the gaming device industry, with 66% using it to play games. This is boosted by almost universal smartphone ownership at a global level.

In contrast, only 23% use a console for gaming. Nevertheless, the decline in gaming console usage has slowed down. This is chiefly due to their rebranding from single-purpose gaming devices to multimedia entertainment hubs.

VPN use is on the rise.

22% of 16-24-year-olds use VPNs to find entertaining content.

More than half (52%) of VPN users say it’s to access better entertainment content.

This equates to 16% of internet users globally.

VPNs are especially popular in fast-growth markets, where consumers tend to use VPNs to access a broader range of content from other countries.

VPNs let users bypass traditional connections to use the internet via a remotely-located server, often based in countries like the U.S., Ireland or Sweden, rather than their own home country, where the offering may be more limited.

Linear TV is still going strong.

Across all generations, internet users watch more broadcast TV than online TV.

Life stage has a clear impact here. Consumers who are in a relationship and/or living with their partners engaging more with broadcast TV than those who are single. But despite this, all groups watch roughly the same amount of online TV per day.

It shows that rather than cannibalizing the opportunities for linear TV, its online counterpart is complementing it.

Esports is growing in popularity.

Compared to a few years ago, esports has emerged as a more cohesive and mainstream genre of entertainment and is slowly becoming a household name.

As many as half of those aged 55-64 are now also aware of these competitive video game tournaments.

3 in 10 of 16-34 console gamers watch esports tournaments.

And while its demographic is narrow, it’s a highly desirable one: young, male and affluent.

Despite many traditional sports fans remaining unconvinced of esports’ close relationship to their favorite sports leagues, plenty of the sports leagues themselves have been keen to capitalize on this relationship.

In 2019, the esports market is set to grow and step further into the mainstream, creating a multitude of opportunities for brands to collaborate.

Music streaming remains limited.

38% of the online population claim to never use music streaming services, making this the least popular form of entertainment we track. In the age of Spotify, this may seem shocking, but generational splits tell the full story.

In 21 of our 42 tracked markets, more time is spent listening to radio than streaming music.

This is most evident in Europe , where the online population is older.

However, new hardware may be about to change this trend.

A quarter of those who don’t use music streaming services plan to purchase a voice-controlled smart speaker, and a fifth plan to purchase a smart home entertainment product such as a wireless speaker.

Easy access to these highly streaming-friendly devices may be the key to convert more casual music listeners into streamers.

Case study: Qualcomm, “Ignore This”

The Insight

When a TV program breaks for commercials, a lot of viewers start focusing on their smartphone rather than the TV.

The Message

American industry-leading telecom brand, Qualcomm, decided to take a tongue-in-cheek approach to their latest campaign, encouraging TV viewers to simply ignore the advert and focus on their phones instead – after all, they invented the tech behind the smartphone itself.

The overarching message is: “Watch our commercial or go ahead and check your smartphone — either way, you’re getting a whole lot of Qualcomm.”

Why it Worked

Making great use of insight into consumer behaviors, humor and confidence in the strength of the brand, the TV ads created by McCann manage to get the message through and draw the viewer’s eye to the screen despite that message.

It’s a perfect example of a brand that’s in tune with fast-moving entertainment trends, especially in relation to the continued rise of second-screening behaviors.

What this means for brands.

With consumers increasingly becoming multi-device, multi-platform users, it’s crucial for brands to know exactly where their target audience spends their time and why.

New channels and devices are becoming central to the entertainment habits of consumers, with the likes of esports and VPN usage growing in popularity.

But it’s important not to underestimate the continued importance of traditional channels like broadcast TV, which still play a crucial role in an effective end-to-end marketing strategy.

Among the brand discovery channels we track, TV ads remain one of the most impactful, with 36% reporting that they discover new brand or products through them, and 27% who say they discover brands via product placements in TV shows or movies.

Is TikTok Setting the Scene for Music on Social Media?

2018 saw an app borne out of an online lip-syncing craze become the new name on everyone’s lips: TikTok. It quickly gained popularity, climbing to the top of Apple’s App Store, and inspiring a new regular segment on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon.

But why do so many users flock to it? Why now? And what does it say about music on social media more generally?

Is TikTok set to redefine social media?

We carried out a special survey in November 2018 to find out – one of the first to illuminate the trend with insights drawn from TikTok users themselves.

The survey found that while TikTok has surged up the download charts, it still has a way to go before it can challenge the social media heavyweights.

15% of internet users in the UK and U.S. actively engaged with TikTok last month; some way below Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. But while TikTok may currently have fewer engaged users, it still offers valuable lessons about what might come next for social media.

What lies behind TikTok’s success?

It’s no great surprise TikTok users skew young, with 41% of them aged between 16 and 24.

When TikTok is mentioned in the news, it’s often compared to Vine, the now-defunct short video platform, and there’s some truth in those comparisons. As with Vine, TikTok is more of a creative than a strictly social platform.

When asked why they like it, users say they’re most interested in seeing other people’s creativity, and having the chance to be creative themselves. These creatively-minded motivations rank above social factors such as “I like the community” or “it lets me stay in touch with friends”, showing self-expression comes above all else.

But TikTok’s rise in popularity is no coincidence – it’s been ushered in by trends we have commented on before.

In recent years, our data has shown using social media to share personal updates and to connect with friends has become less important to internet users. Using it to find entertainment is now more of a priority. We see the evidence for that in the responses TikTok users give for why they enjoy using the service.

This trend is often called “passive browsing”, whereby social media users trawl through their feeds to consume content without sharing anything themselves.

But the appetite for contributing creative content to social platforms may have been underestimated.

Platforms like YouTube and Facebook have always hosted creative content on their networks, but its production has generally relied on third-party software.

TikTok distinguishes itself in its array of tools, effects, filters, as well as its ease in matching audio to video. It empowers its users to become content creators, and keeps creation within the walls of the app.

And TikTok’s users are creators. It boasts a keenly engaged user base, with a high ratio of creators to viewers.

68% watched someone else’s video in the past month, and 55% uploaded one. These stats are admittedly drawn its more active users, and while, as a smaller service, it benefits from dedicated early adopters, it’s still an impressive number of people actively contributing to the platform.

The competition and opportunity for the platform.

TikTok’s rise hasn’t escaped the notice of the biggest players in social media.

It’s certainly given Facebook impetus to make use of the music-licensing deals it signed with the three major record labels over the last two years. After the ink dried on its contracts with Warner, Universal and Sony/ATV, there was speculation Facebook would use those deals to build out its own streaming service.

This may still be a long-term goal, but for the moment the primary aim of those assets lies in using licensed music to drive more user engagement, overcoming the “passive browsing” trend. It’s likely to be beneficial for music publishers too, as social media becomes another place they can monetize their content online.

Facebook has come up with a number of approaches to try and confront TikTok, including a Lip Sync feature on Facebook Live and a new spin-off app called Lasso. But with its sizable pre-existing user base, the introduction of music stickers to Instagram Stories is perhaps the most intriguing move.

A music sticker lets a user put a short music clip in the background of a picture or video on their Story.

In our survey, we found that a quarter of internet users engaging with Instagram have used this feature in the past month.

As with TikTok, music stickers are used to fulfil a creative vision of sorts. 71% of music sticker users applied one “to fit the picture or video”.

But there’s another angle at work too. The top reason overall (73%) was to share a clip from a song the user liked, and 70% used it to express their feeling or mood. TikTok users share this inclination to a degree on that platform as well.

They’re more inclined to see the platform as a hub for creativity and expression – perhaps somewhere they can adopt a persona – but 55% of them say it lets them express how they feel. So using music on social media isn’t always just a matter of creativity; it can also let users showcase their personality in a meaningful, channelled way.

With TikTok’s growth and Facebook’s expansion of its music features, music hasn’t been this integrated with social media since the heyday of Myspace.

Adding music features to their services will allow social media platforms to try and reverse the trend of passive browsing – either by provoking their users’ creativity, or by giving them another vehicle to express their personality.

Do Brands Need a New Sense of Purpose in the New Year?

Many people enter the new year with a resolution and sense of renewed purpose – whether that’s to break a habit or pick up a new skill.

But what about brands? Considering ‘brand purpose’ was one of the most discussed topics among marketers in the last few years, should brands redefine their purpose as their New Year’s resolution?

What is a brand purpose?

Branding Strategy Insider defines brand purposes as statements that “set out how a company intends to change the world for the better …  a statement of belief, of hope, of pursuit.”

So a brand purpose is intended to answer the question of why and for what purpose are we selling our products? 

What good are we doing for the world and our consumers?

Without a clear brand purpose that goes beyond practical product benefits, some consumer might not see many reasons to commit to a brand. Purposes generally go beyond practical aspects, like the product and services provided, and focus more on the emotional, social and ethical benefits the company stands for.

It’s essentially the brand’s identity coming to life through its stance in the competitive landscape, helping them stand out.

How deep should brand purpose go?

Since 2015, we have polled consumers on what they expect from their favorite brands. Our global survey demonstrates the ethical, social and emotional desires that brand purposes can address, but despite rising requirements, there isn’t a major shift away from the more practical benefits that brands offer.

We have to dig further within brand expectations to find philanthropy, localism and fan communities among needs from favorite brands. By and large, classic sources of customer services – product care and being valued as a consumer – are leading.

Does this mean searching for a deeper meaning to the brand through ecological, philanthropic or social responsibility channels is pointless?

Not really. But it does mean that brands should think of a purpose in context of the other elements consumers still love and seek above all else: great products, smooth customer service, and a brand that shows some TLC to the consumer.

Our data shows that  brand purposes still need to focus on the product and customer connections.

Wanting a brand to “improve your knowledge and skills” stands out as the most value-driven request among the data points we track, in all sectors, and has been picked up by many brands for brand positioning over the years.

Classic lifestyle fashion GANT, for instance, launched their Never Stop Learning campaign to recenter the brand as intellectually stimulating and educational, and to link it back to the brand’s positioning as a sophisticated lifestyle brand.

But translating the key consumer need of learning from brands into action can be tricky.  

Only 1 in 8 want their favorite brands to provide content and videos, perhaps because these formats are usually linked to simple entertainment. It’s a tough one to crack, and knowledge/skill value can be difficult to deliver in a channel and format that will make this type of savvy consumer respond.

So what steps should brands take?

It depends on where the brand is in its lifecycle.

Mature brands with a solid history of a practical purpose that is communicated and built on products or services should now explore deeper purposes to associate the brand with. Younger brands will need to choose their battles out of many consumer expectations before they take on the balancing act – and it’s always better to do one thing, and do it very well.

For this, understanding the target consumer very well before soul searching for the brand is as important as ever.

But in general, the basics of brand purpose are still rewarding.

Having a best-in-class, innovative product with a five-star customer service to match is the way to go. Not exploiting the environment while doing so will give brands a good head start in the search for a deeper brand purpose.

Year in Review: The Best Data-Driven Marketing Campaigns of 2018

2018 was a year of change for everyone in the marketing and advertising arena, one that saw data and insight moving even further into focus.

Deep consumer insight is now playing a more central role in campaigns of all shapes and sizes, keeping the ROI promise and focusing attention on the right audience.

Throughout the year, we’ve highlighted some of the most innovative and impactful campaigns of the month that prove the growing connection between data and creativity.  

These five campaigns show us how.

1. Change the Facts, Not the Fro – Ogilvy

The Insight

One in five black women feel social pressure to straighten their hair for work.

This was just one of the key insights uncovered by the 2016 Good Hair study, investigating the stigma and cultural bias experienced by women with Afro hair.

Putting this research into action, Ogilvy UK used it to shape an impactful campaign, calling for change.

The Message

This campaign challenges misconception of straight hair as synonymous with beauty and success, urging people to think about how this portrayal affects people from every walk of life. The overarching message is a clear one:

Change the facts. Not the fro.

Launching in time for World Afro Day 2018, a global event celebrating Afro hair, culture and identity and offering education to create equality, it emphasizes the need for the Afro to be recognized in its natural glory.

Image credits: Ogilvy

The Result

Every so often, leading agencies and advocates for change come together to do something truly impactful.

This work shows the true value of what can come from using deep research to guide creative talent.

Focusing on a real world issue that’s been largely untouched by the media, the teams could reveal the truth behind the global problem, with insight that proved it.

Spreading its presence across DOOH, social, PR and online, with dedicated hashtags #WorldAfroDay and #Changethefacts, the teams gave people a reason to join the movement.

Aptly portraying the emotion at the heart of the campaign, this is data-driven storytelling at its best.

Read the full story.

2. NCDV – The Not-So-Beautiful Game

The Insight

Reports of domestic violence in the UK increase 26% when England play, and 38% when the team loses.

This was the insight uncovered by JWT that highlighted a serious issue lying under the surface of national football.

Forcing the public to reimagine what the sport means for victims of domestic abuse, the finding formed the basis for a striking campaign, launched at a pivotal time for action: during the world’s biggest football tournament.

The Message

With powerful images spread across digital, OOH and print, the ads ran on every England, Switzerland and Japan match day, right through to the end of the World Cup.

Portraying the national flags in shocking depictions of abuse, each image was tailored to the country in question, with one message reigning:

“If England get beaten, so will she.”

Urging fans to remember victims amid the hype while highlighting the fact that there’s help at hand, the ads show there’s far more to the game than we might think.

Image credits: Adage

The Result

Thanks to this campaign’s unique and impactful insight, directly linking football and domestic abuse, the seasonal message was sure to resonate.

And launching the campaign at the very moment victims are proven to be more vulnerable than usual, the NCDV could position themselves as a key source for help and support, when it’s most needed.

Read the full story.

3. Ad Council – End Family Fire

The Insight

8 kids a day are accidentally killed or injured by ‘family fire’.

This is the alarming insight that shaped the campaign, portraying a serious need for public attention.

This, along with the findings from the New York Academy of Medicine, who found that more than 4.6 million kids live in homes with guns that are unlocked and loaded, and three out of four of them know where those guns are kept.

The Message

The core message is a deeply emotional one that tugs at the heartstrings to reinforce the notion that:

“There’s no more tragic a death than when it’s by someone you love.”

But instead of urging people to take sides on the topic of gun ownership, the message is a call to gun owners to make safety their number one priority.


With this goal in mind, Droga5 spoke to the families of gun owners across the country. From their conversations, the team identified overarching themes of closeness, love and fear which governed this innate urge to protect their own.

The Result

Running nationwide online, in print and across broadcast media, the campaign is supported by a website, endfamilyfire.org, offering practical tips on how to practice gun safety in the home.

Using an impactful insight to change the conversation and shift perceptions around gun ownership, the strengths of this campaign lie in its ability to pose questions rather than point fingers, urging people to think differently.

It says that regardless of whether you’re for or against, there are measures we need to take collectively to prevent tragedy.

Read the full story.

4. Ad Council – Seize the Awkward

The Insight

An estimated 76% of young adults turn to a peer in a time of crisis for support, according to a survey conducted by the Jed Foundation.

What’s more, research from the National Alliance of Mental Illness reveals:

50% of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14, and 75% start by age 24.

Using these insights to inform their creative campaign targeting 16-24 year-olds, the teams saw an opportunity to raise much needed awareness on the issue at a fundamental time when many are at risk.

The Message

Mental health is still something of a stigmatized topic, despite conversations shifting in recent years. But too many young adults are struggling with mental health issues and not getting the help they need. This campaign says it’s time to speak up.


Urging its audience not to wait for the awkward moment to pass when you suspect a friend is struggling, it points to the familiar fear that many face of asking the wrong thing. But the message is clear: It doesn’t matter how you say it, just do.

“No need to be an expert. Just to be a friend.”

The star of the campaign is awkward silence personified, who highlights the glaring opportunity that so often presents itself to show you care.

The Result

This campaign proves the power that lies in uncovering an insight unique to your audience that can actually drive change.

Not only does it give the brand a key purpose, it proves its deep understanding of its target audience and the challenges they face in everyday life.

And, ensuring every element of the creative reflects the key insight, it finds a way to actively help the young people it’s targeting, highlighting how one seemingly small gesture can ultimately save lives.

Read the full story.

5. One Number Different – YMCA of the USA

The Insight

Kids born into a lower-income area code have less access to fresh food, quality education and job opportunities, meaning they have a much lower chance of getting ahead in life.

This was the insight that fuelled the creative campaign, focused on highlighting the inequality that exists across America.

The Message

Beverly Hills, for example, with a 90210 zip code, is reported to have a 95% graduation rate, while Compton, which has a 90220 zip code, has a graduation rate of just 59%.

“In America, the zip code you’re born into can determine your future.”

This is the key message the campaign puts forth – how something as simple as one number can spell completely different schools, jobs, dreams, problems, and in turn very different opportunities for the citizens of these neighborhoods.

The campaign goes on to explain that the Y is there to help kids from all backgrounds and zip codes to make a difference to their futures.

The Result

This powerful, but simple creative work is one of many from Droga5 that hones in on data to tell a hard-hitting story.

Tapping into the right emotions, it proves that a theory backed by insight can make a real difference – whether by simply starting a conversation, or by by changing the way we think.

Read the full story.