In honor of Renegade's recent relocation uptown (437 Fifth Ave. NYC 10016), we thought we'd focus this month's newsletter on some truly moving ideas that cut through — not just the clutter, but the notion that in the era of big data, marketing no longer requires emotional appeal.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Unless you’ve been living with a bucket on your head, no doubt you’ve heard of this global phenomenon that, as of August 29th, had raised over $100 million for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This program combines elements of fun, one-upmanship, easy-to-make videos and charity in a way that is ideally suited for Facebook, the home of over 1.2 million IBC-related videos. Unique in its simplicity, it is also important to note that this program didn’t truly take off until TV personalities and celebrities embraced it.

P&G Thank You Mom

Though this campaign seems eons ago (remember Sochi?), it is worth recalling in that it cut through the cacophonous Olympic noise by touching our hearts with another simple notion — that moms play a profound role in most athletes’ roads to success. Reprised from the 2012 London games, P&G’s latest “Thank You Mom” videos were particularly effective, gaining over 34 million combined views on YouTube.

Always #LikeAGirl

Reminiscent of Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty,” P&G’s Always brand pulled our heartstrings with a video that asked actors to “run, fight and throw ‘like a girl’” and then did the same with young girls. The contrast was startling, as the grown ups showed stereotypically meek actions while their youthful counterparts essentially kicked butt. Starting a conversation that rippled through social (over 700,000 shares) and traditional media, the #LikeAGirl video garnered over 47 million views.


This campaign was planned and directed by the Make-A-Wish Foundation for a little boy (Miles) whose ardent wish was to become Batman. Starting with the hashtag #SFbatkid, the program ultimately gained the support of what seemed like the entire city of San Francisco, including its mayor and police chief, and we defy you to watch the recap video without shedding a tear.  Making Miles’s wish come true became a global media phenomenon, once again proving the power of a simple emotional idea to inspire meaningful action.

Final note: Connecting with your target audience on an emotional level is not an easy task, nor a guarantee that a program will go “viral.” However, if you start with genuine insights about your target and evolve those into an idea that can be stated with rare simplicity (Ice Bucket Challenge, Thank you Mom, #LikeAGirl, #BatKid), you have a fighting chance of success. Of course, should you find yourself yearning for an emotionally rich idea, don't hesitate to give your friends at Renegade a shout.