REPRESENTED IN A CREATIVE CAMPAIGN FOR
Presented to the Department of Journalism and the Robert D. Clark Honors College
in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Arts
An Abstract of the Thesis of
Alexandra Weresh for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in the Department of Journalism to be taken June 2016
Title: Pro-social Branding Represented in a Creative Campaign for Crosley Radio
Approved: -+~+--"----=:a...---+-~,,_Alu-_=--..;;;;.._:----_ -_ -_ -_ -_" ---Deborah Morrison
Brands essentially have identities. These identities have typically marketed
themselves as heroes by involving themselves in sustainable advertising. Recently, a
new strategy has surfaced, pro-social advertising. Pro-social brands, as they have been
titled, take a more politically disruptive and, at times, inspirational approach to the way
they market themselves. Rather than donating to a cause (sustainable/ hero advertising),
brands are entering controversial conversations. These conversations push for consumer
involvement and portray the brand identity as having a human spirit.
I have applied the idea of pro-social branding to a hypothetical campaign for
Crosley Radios, a company that sells primarily tum tables. Crosley will involve
themselves in the conversation ofracial equality. Specifically, Crosley will be
promoting the fight for equality of all races and will market this conversation through
their products, turntables and vinyl records. The creative execution can be seen in an
accompanying material, a fifty-page brand book and a creative pitch.
I would like to thank Professors Deborah Morrison, Terry Hunt, and Tom
McDonnell, for representing me in this process. I know that for each of them time is a
gift and I appreciate every minute they have been willing to spare. I wanted to express
that without them, this would have been an unthinkable task. I have been privileged to
work with such excellent professors. Because of them, this has been a less strenuous
and even more rewarding experience.
In addition to an excellent team of professors, I would like to acknowledge my
colleagues, Mina Naderpoor, Ali Angle, and Salem Weresh. This project required a
great deal of positivity and patience and these individuals ensured that I was never
empty of either. A special thank you for the hours of idea bouncing and endless support.
Finally, I would like to acknowledge my family. In particular I would like to
thank my mother, Melissa Weresh. Thank you for the late night paper edits, the phone
calls regarding professionalism and, most importantly, the support and faith. I have
been privileged to have such an incredibly intelligent woman backing my every word.
Table of Contents
Accompanying Materials v Chapter 1: Brand Identities 1 Chapter Two: Sustainable Advertising 4 Chapter Three: Pro-Social Explained 7 Chapter Four: Ethical Parameters 10 Chapter Five: A Shy Strategy 14 Chapter Six: The Rules 16 Chapter Seven: Human Over Hero 18 Bibliography 20
This is a creative thesis for the Advertising department of the University of
Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. Accompanying this supplementary
paper is the Creative Campaign for Crosley Radios, explained through a fifty-page
Brand Book. This paper is the supplement to the creative thesis. The paper highlights
the topic of pro-social branding.
Chapter 1: Brand Identities
Brands have an identity, whether they intend to or not. This identity is built off
of several different outputs, conversations, and opinions. Companies have a tangible
identity based off of the products they sell, as well as user experience and they
have an intangible identity based off the way consumers relate emotionally to the
brand. These intangible identities are becoming a conversation amongst advertising
professionals. Brands are starting to understand that they need to be paying attention to
their tangible and intangible identities, and taking action to ensure they are seen in a
positive light by their consumers. To do so, brands are starting to involve themselves in
political and controversial conversations to inspire their consumers to lead positive
change, this strategy is called Pro-Social branding, and it is proving to be a successful
tactic of differentiating one brand from its competition.
Identities exist in two different forms. These forms include the individual ego
and the social ego. Our individual ego represents the way we view ourselves, the
conversations that we have within our heads and the characteristics we would label
ourselves with. Our social ego is just the opposite. It is the way other individuals regard
us, the feelings they have about us and the characteristics they believe we hold. These
social egos begin to exist with just one encounter, or one conversation. These egos that
exist within personalities, both individual and social, can also be applied to
1 Sachs, Jonah. "2015 Will Be the Year Brands Take a Public Stand on Social Issues." The Guardian.
Guardian News and Media, 02 Jan. 2015. Web. 01 Apr. 2016.
An example of intangible and social identity can be seen through the consumer
perception of vehicle companies. Consumers see Honda vehicles as being an affordable,
dependable option. They are cars for middle class families and their children. In 2016,
Kelley Blue Book rated the Honda Civic as one of their Top Family Vehicles.2 On the
opposite side, Jeep is perceived as being a company for the adventurer, far from the
suburbs. If one looks at each companys array of commercial techniques they will see
how these companies individual egos interact with their social egos.
Honda has recognized their social identity and recently, January 2016, had
hopes of changing the publics perception. The goal was to go from the affordable and
reliable option, to the cool car on the road. They presented a new commercial. Their
commercial stated, The car that was once everyones first, is now everyones next. 3
On the other hand, Jeep currently has an individual identity that agrees with their social
identity. In Jeeps Super Bowl commercial of 2016, they featured portraits of heroes,
royalty, and thrill-seekers. The commercial stated, Ive traveled, trekked, wandered
and roamed only to find myself right where I belong.4
Obviously, a consumer will purchase a product by weighing the variables of
price, quality, and access. However, many companies operate within extremely similar
arenas. So, these social identities typically enter the game when the consumer
approaches a fork in the road. Lets look at a hypothetical situation. Becky, an avid
2 KBB.com Editors. "16 Best Family Cars of 2016." Kbb.com. Kelley Blue Book Co., 4 Feb. 2016. Web. 25 Apr. 2016. 3 Honda TV Commercial Introducing The All New 2016 Honda Civic The Car That Was Once Everyones First Is Now Everyones Next Start Something Special | TV Commercial Spots Its All About The Ads! Prod. Honda. Youtube. Youtube, Jan. 2016. Web. 17 May 2016. 4 Jeep Super Bowl Commercial 2016 - Portraits. Dir. Jeep. Youtube. Youtube, Jan. 2016. Web.
coffee consumer, is standing at a crossroads. She has to decide if she would like to
purchase her morning cup of coffee at Moonbucks' or The Coffee Seed. She enjoys
each cup of coffee, they are the same in price, and each is a short walk from her house.
How does she decide between the two locations? Well, Becky would categorize herself
an environmentally aware individual. She has read that Moonbucks uses recycled cups
and The Coffee Seed does not. So, Becky decides to go with the Moonbucks cup of
This hypothetic situation is an example of a consumer choosing a brand for its
identity. Becky did not pick between the two coffee shops based off of the product, she
picked based off the brands involvement in a bigger conversation; environmentalism.
When brands compete in a similar arena (for example coffee) consumers are looking
beyond the product and into the identity of the company. With this being said, new
strategies of advertising have come into play. These strategies include pro-social
branding and sustainable advertising. So, what is the difference between pro-social and
Chapter Two: Sustainable Advertising
Sustainable advertising is traditional. This strategy assumes a consumer will
applaud and reward the company for being good. It is a classic and safe strategy to
win the hearts of consumers. Companies utilizing sustainable advertising involve
themselves in conversations that portray the brand as a hero.
Often times this involves donating money to a charity.5 One example of this is
the one for one program by Toms Shoe Company. The company agreed to donate a
pair of shoes for each pair purchased. Contrary to some consumer beliefs, Toms is
actually a for-profit company.6 This