Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Social Branding

As integrated Social Issues Marketing specialists, we do more than PSAs at Acart. A big part of our business includes the branding of campaigns and programs that change attitudes, provoke action and improve lives.

One of our recently-launched social brands is Hazardcheck, a Health Canada program to help Canadians identify and reduce environmental health hazards in their homes.

Our stated objective was to create a brand that could be the next "Participaction" — that is, an engaging and potentially grassroots campaign that could be used as a basis for ongoing communication about home hazards.

As you can imagine, we went through a long process of generating naming options. We put together a large think-tank of creative and strategic people, and I moderated one of the most intense brainstorming sessions we've ever had. And, of course, it had to be developed concurrently in English and French.

Next, we worked on identifiers for the program that would get a strong message across without being overly shocking.

I can't tell you what else was on our shortlist, but "Hazardcheck" was the winner.

As a parent, I really appreciated the chance to work on something so basic, and yet so essential, to helping people keep their families in good health. Doing research for the branding project, I also learned a few new things to look out for.

Social branding is all about making important things simple and relevant. I think we've done that with the development of a plain-language name that is also a call-to-action, as well as an internet-inspired icon that communicates both "home" and "caution".

Our next job was to develop a Guide and other materials to promote the new brand. And a video is now in the works. (Maybe someday they'll let me write a Participaction-esque jingle!)

Get the information you need to keep your family healthy and safe at

1 comment: