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2018 Super Bowl Tackles Corporate Social Responsibility from All Sides

Posted By Administration, Monday, February 5, 2018

The Super Bowl is one of the biggest sporting events of the year. Viewership is high as is the cost for advertising, with a 30-second TV commercial costing, on average, more than $5 million.

What is noteworthy this year is how many of Super Bowl LII’s advertisers chose to focus their investments on their corporate social responsibility (CSR) messages.

Even though most companies cannot make such significant investments in developing or sharing their CSR strategies, they can learn from them. Here are a few of our favorites and our strategic CSR takeaways:

“Stand By Me” by Budweiser

This one resonates for those of us living and working in Central Florida. Budweiser provided water to Florida and other places impacted by natural disasters this past year such as Texas, Puerto Rico and California. Their ad demonstrates how they give in a way in which they are uniquely qualified to give -- their water and their canning process. According to the company, their Cartersville, GA brewery has provided more than 79 million cans of water for relief efforts since 1988, including two million last year. In addition to the positive impact they have on those who receive their canned water, this ad demonstrates how they also have a positive impact on their employees.

“Taps” by Stella Artois

Like Budweiser, Stella Artois brought a focus on water. Water.org co-founder Matt Damon stars in the ad, which promotes the partnership between the beer company and the nonprofit organization that provides clean and safe drinking water to developing countries. This is the second time Stella Artois promoted their CSR program at the Super Bowl, highlighting how one purchase can lead to 5 years of clean water for 1 person in a developing world. This is about collective impact.

“Good Odds” by Toyota

Rather that focus on promoting their vehicles, Toyota chose to spotlight two elements of its CSR program: inclusiveness and mobility. Although the focus of the ad is on Canadian alpine skier Lauren Woolstencroft, an eight-time Paralympic gold medalist, it closes with the message, “When we’re free to move, anything is possible.” This speaks to purpose which should be at the core of any CSR program. So instead of promoting a car, they are promoting the importance of mobility which serves a higher purpose for their brand, and likely their customers.

“Hope Detector” by Hyundai

Hyundai also chose not to feature their cars in their Super Bowl ad. Instead, they focused on their efforts to fund childhood cancer research and how buying a Hyundai can make a difference in the lives of others. Their program and ad were interesting because they engaged another key stakeholder group: the customer. The real Hyundai owners met real cancer survivors to see firsthand the impact their purchases had on the lives of others.

You may not have a Super Bowl ad to share, but we would still like to hear your stories. If you are a Central Florida company with a CSR story of your own, please send them to csrhub@rollins.edu or share them with us via Twitter at @Rollins_CSRhub.

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