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Is Social Activism The New Black?

NEW YORK, Nov. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- TBWA\Worldwide today announced the release of a new global study that reveals the powerful engagement opportunities that exist with young adults by leveraging their deep commitment to social causes. The study proves that companies, brands and NGOs have invaluable opportunities to engage in social issues with this powerful generation.


Tom Carroll, TBWA Worldwide President and CEO, said, "This study gives us insight into a generation that will inform clients' CSR and brand strategies going forward. This engagement can be a big business driver – the more that brands understand this shift, the better relationships they will form with this generation."

Moral obligation to add valueTwo out of three young adults think companies have a moral obligation to help solve social problems. Even more of them (73%) believe companies should use their knowledge and resources to help societies solve problems. The difference between this generation and the previous one is that they don't just point fingers at bad companies, but include them to be part of the solution.

They are talking about you77% of young adults will tell their friends about a company that supports a cause they care about. As the social media generation, young adults have redefined activism by combining social causes, social networks and fun.

They will show you the money74% of young adults prefer to buy from a socially responsible company. It is a strong differentiator from the competition.

They want to work for youUnlike previous generations, social activism is the foundation of their identity. It even impacts their job-hunting strategies, as more than two in three would seek employment from a company that supports a cause they care about.

"This generation operates like no other," said Laurie Coots, TBWA Worldwide Chief Marketing Officer. "We need to understand their motivations, which are far more global and pragmatic than any other generation we've seen before."

For a generation of young adults in search of meaning, who came of age in a world marked by global turbulence, there are five things that organizations can do to leverage this very important idea learning.
  1. Put social-inclusion issues on the agenda — from causes to how companies operate, this inclusive generation will not tolerate any level of discrimination.
  2. Create share-worthy content online that activates offline behavior. Make it easy for young adults to find and share with their friends.
  3. Offer young adults local opportunities — if you represent a global brand or issue break it down and help young adults find a local and pragmatic way to interact.
  4. Make involvement in a cause more social and fun.
  5. Help young adults see how they are making a difference, report the progress you are making and give them badges and rewards for their help.

The study was revealed at an event for opinion leaders in New York City, November 15th, in partnership with TakePart Group, a division of Participant Media. 

The survey was conducted in partnership with M/A/R/C Research.

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