Risk vs. Reward of Participation in #StopHateForProfit

July 29, 2020

The “StopHateForProfit” campaign was announced June 17 and officially launched on July 1.  Proprietary Horizon Media research showed that during the campaign’s inaugural week, awareness reached 59% among all American adults. It has since plateaued at 55%. This plateau is consistent with a decline and flattening of social media conversation about the campaign. Together, these data show awareness momentum has slowed due to a continued slowdown of press covering new advertisers announcing participation. Most recently, reporting shifted focus to an antitrust hearing involving Mark Zuckerberg that took place on July 29.

While awareness and social conversation have both leveled off, the potential positive halo for participating brands remained. As of July 27, #StopHateForProfit and its goals have garnered support from a strong majority of U.S. adults (73%). The campaign netted out with more than a third (35%) saying they would make it a point to support brands that participated. Support levels rose as the campaign kicked off July 1 and remained relatively consistent throughout July.

The downside risk of participating remained nominal. Only 13% of Americans say they oppose the campaign, and this level has held over the past two weeks of tracking.   Pointed opposition remained low with just 4% saying they would make it a point to boycott a brand for participating, a figure that has remained within +/- 1% point across all weeks so far. The small group of #StopHateForProfit naysayers still skew over the age 55 (17%) and more politically conservative (23%).

Nonetheless, overall positive perception of the campaign continued to transcend party lines and generational lines. Most Democrats (87%), Republicans (64%) and Independents (76%) say they at least support the campaign’s goals. Not surprisingly, Democrats consistently show stronger support of the campaign compared to Republicans. In fact, 73% of Democrats and almost half of Republicans (46%) say they would feel more positively toward brands that participate. While Americans under 55 tend to favor the campaign and its goals at a stronger level, support comes from the majority regardless of age (18-34 (86%), 35-54 (81%), and 55+ (56%)).

As the campaign approached the month’s end, culminating at the big tech antitrust meeting, brands should carefully consider whether campaigns like #StopHateForProfit’s goals align with their brand ethos. If the answer is “yes,” similar campaigns may present an opportunity to demonstrate that brand ethos through advertising choices. In addition, brands that are publicly reported as “quiet participants” may want to consider speaking on the matter if they want to benefit from the potential goodwill and loyalty. While this decision is equally dependent on brand ethos, it may be an easier “yes” for brands that naturally cater to younger or more purpose driven audiences.

Click ‘Download PDF’ below to access the full report and methodology.

Source: Horizon Media Finger on the Pulse. Fielded Wave 1, 6/25/20 – 6/29/20, n=1170; Wave 2, 7/2/20 – 7/6/20, n=503; Wave 3, 7/9/20 – 7/13/20, n=491; Wave 4, 7/16/20 – 7/20/20, n=505; Wave 5, 7/23/20 – 7/27/20, n=501

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