Zika campaign highlights millennial interest in work with a purpose

The effort was not only a success by the client's standards, but also in terms of engaging Havas' millennial workforce.

Zika campaign highlights millennial interest in work with a purpose

CANNES, FRANCE: A group of Havas agencies developed a song and a ritual for a Reckitt Benckiser campaign encouraging people to use mosquito repellant and get rid of standing water to help eradicate the Zika virus.

The campaign was a success by marketing standards: a video of Ivete Sangalo, a popular performer in the region, singing a song and dancing a ritual developed for the campaign, generated 9 million views. It was also a success within the agency for a different reason.

"Millennials worked twice as hard because there was a purpose behind it," said Toygar Bazarkaya, ‎chief creative officer for the Americas at Havas Worldwide.

Havas Worldwide Brazil developed Palmas Pelo Brasil, which means Clap for Brazil, for its client, Reckitt Benckiser, which makes several repellent products. It's based on the idea that you clap to kill a mosquito.

"It energized the employees, the brand, and the agencies," Bazarkaya said during a talk held Tuesday at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

As the millennial workforce grows and takes on more senior roles at their respective employers, agencies and companies have started to see that the purpose-driven generation wants to know that some or all of the work they do has a social good element to it. That's why media brands such as Mashable take a "positive, aspirational, and inclusive" tone, said Michael Kriak, Mashable's chief operating and financial officer.

It's also a driver for global communications firms such as Weber Shandwick.

"Our business is full of millennials," said Jack Leslie, chairman of the Interpublic Group agency.

Doing work with a purpose helps employers both attract and retain millennial talent. Leslie noted a recent Deloitte study that found 88% of millennials say they will stay at an organization for five years or more if there is a sense of purpose. That quality was more important to the participants than professional development, aligned values, and mentoring programs.

This story originally appeared on Medical Marketing & Media.

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