For some brands, content marketing has turned into what could be construed as a campfire circle with everyone holding hands, banging lap drums, playing guitar, and singing “Kumbaya” while the fire blazes and hearts connect.

Lately, a number of notable companies have been capitalizing on the increasing societal division in an attempt to connect people together and ultimately connect more people to their brands.

But, is this a viable, smart marketing strategy? Or is it risky and alienating? Should you inject some “kumbaya” into your strategies?

Let’s take a look at a few examples of brands that are “kumbaya-ing” their marketing campaigns and dive into this concept in a little more detail:

TV2 in Denmark Crushes Societal Divides

TV2 in Denmark shot this 3-minute video with 80 Danes to demonstrate that even though we all come from different walks of like, we can still find a point of connection. The premise of the campaign is that we, as a society, tend to judge and label others based on their background, looks and societal status. But, this video aimed to prove that underneath what we have striven to display on the outside, we can find similarities and use them to connect at a deeper level.

Whether or not the TV station received more brand awareness as a result of the campaign is yet to be identified (I know I shed a tear!). But, by looking at the video numbers, we can surmise it was a success. This video was released at the end of January and it has over 4.1 million views. Other videos the TV station released on its YouTube channel around the same time have an average of 10,000 – 110,000 views.

Heineken Breaks Down Barriers and Unites Would-Be Enemies

Heineken presented its “Worlds Apart” campaign (#OpenYourWorld) just last month to prove that “there’s more that unites us than divides us.” The brand partnered with Human Library, an organization that challenges stereotypes by running unique events where people can “loan” each other out for conversations to help break down label-inducing barriers and social prejudices.

The YouTube video has more than 12.2 million views and 4,300 comments. I’d say this was a massive success, for Heineken and society.

KIND’s “Pop Your Bubble” Campaign

I talked about this campaign in a recent blog post here. The KIND foundation launched the “Pop Your Bubble” campaign to help people reach out and open their minds and heart to perspectives different than their own. The KIND foundation created a tool that will help Facebook users friend people who they may have not interacted with before due to opinion differences and bias.

Are These Humanity-Focused Campaigns a Wise Choice for Brands?

Brands know that establishing a connection with their audience and customers is paramount to business success. The ability to connect is at the core of great content and any way brands can do it will help their cause.

The more emotionally connected you are to something, the more you trust it. And the more you trust it, the more comfortable you will feel spending your valuable money and making a purchase.

When you watch those videos above, maybe your heartfelt connected, or maybe it didn’t. But, one thing for sure is that your defenses most likely came down, even if slightly. When this happens, you are much more apt to take action, and brands are hoping that action results in increased connection with them.

Are Brands Taking Too Much Risk?

These three brands are taking a risk because their content uncovers some controversial societal topics, so there will be people who don’t agree with it. Even though your content may differ, every time you publish content to the world, you are taking a risk also, as not everyone will like you nor unite with your messaging. Just look at what happened with Pepsi and its Kendall Jenner ad.

If you want to produce this type of content, but you are concerned about the risk, work within the current trends. After this divisive past election, the world had become even more divided, so the atmosphere was ripe for this type of content, one reason why I believe these campaigns were so widely accepted. Follow the pulse of humanity and ensure your content is within season and you will minimize a lot of risk.

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