January 13, 2022 by Digiday Awards
With hints of returns to pre-pandemic normalcy punctuated by reinstated lockdowns, as well as continued social and political unrest, 2021 was a year that was rife with challenges and opportunity.
The Digiday Greater Good Awards’ first ever recipients are companies who are dedicated to making the world a better destination in the face of uncertainty and unrest. These companies used their talents and strengths to tackle local and global issues. They did this with genuine intent and real change-making in the mind.
These winners shared a common theme of strengthening community, inclusion, and collaboration with the best technology, marketing, and advertising partners. They supported pandemic relief efforts and kept their promises regarding equality and racial justice.
Audible launched Newark Working Kitchens in response to the pandemic. It was created to provide food for the city’s most vulnerable populations and also support local restaurants. Since its inception, the program has provided more than one million meals to people in need and has boosted at least 40 eateries, over half of which are minority- and women-owned. The NWK program demonstrated how a brand can create a scalable strategy for addressing food insecurity at local levels, and earned it a place among our honorees.
Artsy is an online marketplace for art. It has been recognized for its commitment to increasing inclusion and using its platform to support timely causes like the Equal Justice Initiative during Black History Month. The company held benefit auctions that raised $11.4 million for charitable initiatives alone in the first half of 2021. Its partnership with Outfront Media led to activations in transit systems across the country featuring work from artists from underrepresented groups. This gave them visibility and made the art world more accessible to a wider audience.
VidMob demonstrated how technology can be used to spark important, potentially life-saving conversations. The company created the Seize the Awkward campaign in partnership with the Ad Council and The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. This campaign aims to encourage young people to talk about mental health. The campaign increased its engagement by using AI to identify the elements that resonated with the most audiences on each social media platform. Learning that shifting the messaging on TikTok from “Are you OK?” to “You good?” resulted in a 112% increase in click-through rate, for example, is an important learning for advertisers and a crucial one when it comes to such an important topic.
Among the challenging lessons of 2021 emerged the idea that the “new normal” is constantly evolving, and obstacles can be catalysts for evolution. The Greater Good Awards winners demonstrate that overcoming challenges through creativity and innovation can lead to positive change. This first round of awardees demonstrated that doing business and doing good don’t have to be mutually exclusive by leveraging their expertise and platforms.
Take a look below at the winners and read our guide to get an overview of all the winning campaigns.
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