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Finding an Authentic Way to Get Involved in Social Issues

In today's world, cause sponsorship often leads to backlash

In an era when socially conscious consumption is on the rise, companies face a Catch-22. Taking a stand is imperative—according to two-thirds of consumers—but it’s painfully easy to miss the mark when you do.

Dior learned this lesson the hard way with its recent “Sauvage” campaign. The brand intended to raise awareness around Native Americans with the ad featuring Johnny Depp and a Native American dancer. Unfortunately, the ad was live on social for only a few hours before the backlash began. The company had no choice but to pull it.

What Dior and many other companies are learning is that consumers want socially conscious brands—but they want that consciousness delivered in an authentic way. Dior may have had good intentions, but the only thing consumers saw in the ad was commercialism, not genuine brand purpose.

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