The movement towards social responsibility marketing has been accelerating over the past years. This will continue as people want more support to trickle down to the masses from those that are more privileged (that being people, companies, and governments). One of the more powerful approaches within this movement is where social ills are turned into a positive force. I suspect that a lot more work in this area will be pursued by companies as they see that value to their Brands be healthily affected.
A large percentage of “social ill into positive force” efforts have been undertaken by charities and NGOs. A brilliant recent example comes from Heart Research UK. They tapped into the universal pain of a broken heart to find a creative way to fund heart research. The idea focuses on the money that can be generated from gifts given by former lovers. It is so simple yet so powerful and actionable. Therefore, the pain from a broken heart can be turned into a force for change. Have a look.
Arguably the biggest global Brand that has championed the movement of turning a social ill into a positive force is Dove. Their Real Beauty movement has been a powerful force in reversing image self-doubt. One of their recent programs leverages the power of self-belief by implementing a placebo on a group of women and having them monitor their progress through journals. The program has been causing some debate online. However, this is good because it forces dialogue around the core topic of female real beauty. Have a look.