Cause Marketing Campaign | Creative Strategy

Cause Marketing Campaign | Creative Strategy

This article is part of a Cause Marketing Campaign completed for Seneca College.
Cause: Fighting Violence Against Women
Client: L’Oréal


IMC Communication Objectives

To increase engagement and awareness regarding the L’Oréal’s positioning about violence against women
To position L’Oréal as a source of trust and information regarding this cause
To create buzz about L’Oréal by supporting the cause of fighting violence against women

The Problem and Key Observations


Historical Perspective

Since patriarchal society was installed, women have been facing gender-based violence.
Before the industrial revolution, when women used to spend most of their time at home, it was almost impossible to attack this problem. But since the late 19th century, and reaching its peak in the 50s, women have been more openly fighting for their rights and have become a part of the workforce, not only in the world, but also in Canada.

This new opening on women’s lives led to not only revolutionary outcomes, but also to the growth of gender-based violence and violence against women, becoming an issue that needed to be approached by the Canadian Government.

Over the last decades, Government support for abused women has expanded. Back in 1991, the House of Commons Sub-Committee on the Status of Women released a report with testimonies and recommendations for ending violence against women. In 2017, the Government also launched the project ‘It’s Time: Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence’, focused on organizing and regulating programs regarding this cause.

Nowadays, Canada’s government has been increasing its support to women’s rights, organizations and women human rights defenders.

The Current Situation

Currently, worldwide, at least 35% of women have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or sexual violence by a non-partner. In Canada, every six days a woman is killed by her partner. Regarding all reported violent crimes against women, 85% of those are committed by someone they know.

Gender-based violence is still the main source of violence regarding women, and half of all Canadian women have experienced some kind of physical or sexual violence in their lives. This problem keeps impacting and changing women’s lives for the worst and the only long term solution is to get the entire society involved.

The Problem in a Nutshell

To this date, violence against women remains an enormous problem regarding Canada’s society but it’s not recognized as so. Both the older and younger generation tend to see this problem as something that is already being handled and therefore doesn’t need their attention.

However, violence against women is still going strong and needs all the support and fight it can get. To attack this problem in the right way, it’s quintessential to have the younger generations’ support, so that they can tackle this issue by engaging and helping spread awareness about this cause.

Audience Insights

“This is not the seventies, there is not such thing as ‘violence against women’ anymore.”
Insight: People think that this problem is in the past.

“Okay, maybe abused women need help, but shouldn’t the government do something about it?”
Insight: People think that is not in their power to do anything to help women fighting against violence and it’s up to the Government to solve this issue.

“She’s not being physically hurt, so I can’t see how you call it a ‘violence’.”
Insight: People don’t see emotional abuse ass violence.

“Women die. Women get hurt. So do men.”
Insight: People don’t understand how violence against women is commonly gender-based.

“If they’re married, then there’s no harm in pushing for sex.”
Insight: People don’t associate rape with intimate relationships, although it shouldn’t make a difference.

“That’s not my problem. I feel for her, but I shouldn’t get involved in other people’s business.”
Insight: People think that it’s not up to them to help women living in a situation of violence.

“I can’t envolve anyone with this. I have to find my own way out.”
Insight: Abused women don’t believe that anybody can or will help them.

“I just have to deal with it.”
Insight: Abused women believe that there’s no way out of the violence they live in.

“Even if I got out, how would I keep my life going?”
Insight: Abused women can’t see how their lives could improve.

Desired Response

“I had no idea how big of a problem this still was.”

“Society has to do something about this cause.”

“I didn’t realize how strong and life harming psychological violence could be!”

“Now I can see that women are getting killed and hurt just by being women.”

“It’s my business to get involved if a woman is being attacked by her partner.”

“I really can change my life. I can find help.”

“There’s a light at the end of the tunnel for me.”

Big idea

Violence against women: everyone needs to start fighting it.

The campaign will feature different taglines, always combining the words “stop” with different reactive and passive verbs and the call to action to “start fighting”.

Stop ignoring. Start fighting.
Stop overlooking. Start fighting.
Stop avoiding. Start fighting.
Stop judging. Start fighting.
Stop neglecting. Start fighting.
Stop denying. Start fighting.
Stop downplaying. Start fighting.



Positive Attributes

  • The primary target audience includes tech-savvy Millenials who have access to social media and mobile communication tools on a daily basis
  • L’Oréal has a huge fanbase within the primary and secondary target audiences
  • The primary target audience’s main point of contact with brands they love and buy is by engaging with their online content
  • The primary target audience feels that they can really change the world if they set their minds to do it
  • The secondary target audience is online looking for anonymous help and counselling


Negative Attributes

  • Canadians do not believe that violence against women is still a big problem
  • The primary target doesn’t understand why and how they should get involved
  • The secondary target audience, abused women, don’t believe that a campaign can help them


Creative Guidelines



The campaign should communicate the message through a strong yet relatable and hopeful tone. The idea of society being an ally to women fighting against violence should prevail, helping them to look forward to a greater life.

L’Oréal’s history and background as a trusted company should help to set the tone of the entire campaign as a trusted informational font of factual making.

Types of Appeal


Emotional Appeal

The creative strategy of the campaign should communicate the message through an emotional appeal, showing the audience how damaged the life of an abused woman can be.

The emotional appeal is also the right way to promote awareness and engagement for such an important social cause.

Factual Appeals

In a straightforward way, the audience will get to know and understand current and relevant information about violence against women.

With the facts tied up with the emotional strategy, it should be clear to the target audience how both themselves and L’Oréal can really help abused women improve from their lives.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

This campaign will satisfy two needs on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, one for each target audience:

For the primary target audience of Millenials, the campaign will path its way to their Self-actualization needs. This audience will see this campaign as a doorway to seek personal growth, by understanding women in need and therefore helping them.
For the secondary target audience of women exposed to violence, the campaign shall approach their safety needs of feeling secured as individuals.

Personality & The Self-Concept

This campaign will appeal directly to the audience’s ideal self. By engaging with the ads, the target audience will be able to connect with those in need and, through engagement, help them achieve better lives.


All the ads are going to portray the abused women as objects after they have suffered some act of violence in their lives. Those damaged objects should be able to connect the audience with abused women, portraying them after they have become victims. Consequently, this campaign will connect its visuals with its powerful and direct message, always looking for hope.


This campaign will always bring L’Oréal’s brand logo along with the tagline and some factual information about the cause to ensure continuity through all media.

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