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Saving Lives or Saving Face: Exposing the True Cost of "Playing it Safe"
As marketers, are we more concerned with saving face or saving lives? In 2016, the Canadian Yukon government retracted their "We All Need the [vitamin] D" public service campaign due to an embarrassing, unintended reference to male genitalia. Unfortunately, their scramble to save face may have put a stop to one of the most successful public campaigns in years, showing more concern for their image than results. And they’re not alone: marketers often shy away from controversial creative to protect their reputation. But what if this campaign decried smoking or drunk driving: would saving face still outweigh saving lives? For cause-based marketers especially, the stakes are high, as these decisions could end up hurting the very populations they’re trying to help. It’s time we understand the true cost of “playing it safe” and ask ourselves: is it worth it?

Sep 28, 2017 9:00 AM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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