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What is Movement Marketing? - Definition & Examples

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

If you think movement marketing is about getting up to dance, this lesson is for you! In this study, we'll explore what movement marketing really entails and take a look at some brands implementing it.

Making Moves

Dove's ''Real Beauty'' campaign, featuring women with love handles, cellulite, and wrinkles, caught people off-guard when the ads first started running. It sparked a conversation about body image and self-esteem.

Pepsi attempted a different type of marketing with its Project Refresh campaign, using its usual Super Bowl ad budget to contribute millions to social initiatives, and urging consumers to ''do some good.''

TOMS has embraced the notion of giving back by donating millions of pairs of shoes to children in underprivileged areas by asking customers to do everything from taking Instagram photos of their bare feet, to spending a day without shoes to experience what those less fortunate endure.

Three very different companies with similar social and cultural goals, all tied together with one common marketing thread: movement marketing.

What is Movement Marketing?

Movement marketing has been around a lot longer than you may realize, but is becoming more prevalent and common as brands look for new ways to connect with consumers. Movement marketing (sometimes referred to as 'cultural movement marketing') is a way in which businesses craft marketing initiatives around their visions, rather than around their products. Pepsi, for example, worked less at promoting a fizzy soda, focusing instead on their ideas for making the world a better place.

Movement marketing resonates with people because it's about ideas that impact society as a whole. Whether bringing attention to global poverty, or building dialogue around body image, rather than telling consumers what's so great about a pair of shoes or skin care products, brands have found a way to reach customers with an authentic story instead of a sales pitch, and consumers are responding favorably.

Movement marketing requires brands to move away from spitting out advertising messages to contributing to bigger conversations that connect brands, consumers, and causes. Wouldn't you rather purchase a soda from a company working on clean water solutions on the other side of the globe than a company selling soda for soda's, or money's sake? That's what movement marketers are banking on.

Why Movement Marketing is Moving

Movement marketing has surged in popularity thanks to the expanding presence of social media, which enables more sharing, more intimate conversations between brands and consumers, and more opportunities to collaborate, rally, and bring about change for social issues. The good news is that consumers are already embracing these causes, so they are more receptive to brands who authentically try to make a difference.

So, who's really succeeding in this arena? Let's take a look at a few more examples of movement marketing in practice.

Movers and Shakers

1. American Express: In 2010, credit card company American Express launched Small Business Saturday, a movement to help encourage people to shop locally the Saturday following Thanksgiving. The marketing around the concept of buying from small, local businesses has caught on across the country, and the U.S. Senate made the day's designation official in 2011.

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