Harrell talked about P&G’s Always’ #LikeaGirl campaign, which has gone from a simple phrase to a powerful and empowering movement, and Gillette’s “We Believe: The Best Men Can Be,” which got feedback that ranged from people who loved it to criticism.
“Whenever we enter into any of our campaigns our main goal is to drive empathy,” said Harrell. She noted they should be both a force for good and a force for growth.
Harrell also used Ben & Jerry’s as an example of a company tackling equality head-on, citing the brand’s Justice ReMix'd, a flavor and campaign designed to inspire radical change.
Haus said “there are moments in our history that have been great accelerators, and I think 2020 has been one of those moments.”
“For us at Ulta Beauty, it really has been a time to put more structure around where we’re going and have even more intent and resolve about the areas that we want to make an impact,” she continued. “This year we’ve gotten more transparent, we gotten more vocal with our point of view, and we’ve moved faster with things like elevating black-owned brands.”
She advised that, as we head into 2021, this year we met the moment, but now what is the movement we are creating. So many amazing leaders have said if we find ourselves in the same position in a year after we’ve met the moment, then we’ve failed.
Harrell advised to make sure, in terms of who you’re trying to reach, you have accurate portrayal and representation of the consumers we all serve. For one it helps to increase the diversity we see in advertising, that we meet the needs of consumers, and it gives us the opportunity to address inequality that can be driven by bias, and drive empathy and understanding.
“It has to be a sustained commitment,” she said. “You will receive someone who’s not going to be happy about it, call it criticism.”
She also noted the creative and media supply chain is one place to drive diversity – the agencies we work with, the content creators, the media outlet, where we place the content – it all matters to create diversity.
Haus ended by noting retailers need to be crystal clear about what your brand stands for and articulate it in a way associates can repeat back.