Brands Gain a Conscious

There was a time, not so long ago, when charity work didn’t feature too highly on the agenda of major brands. However, in recent years this has changed radically, resulting in companies we know and love writing documents detailing their charitable contributions, policies and initiatives.

The partnerships between brands and charities are also now shown in their advertising and marketing, especially around this time of year when consumers are feeling especially generous.

There are too many campaigns to discuss them all; however here are some of our favourites that will show that companies really have changed their ethos and do indeed have a heart. 

John Lewis

You may have seen this years Christmas advert from John Lewis broadcast on television.

If not, it features a little girl (Lily) who uses her family telescope to look at the moon. She is astounded to see an elderly gentleman who is living alone, on the moon, going about his daily business.

Lily becomes determined to get something to the elderly man and send him a message to let him know he is not alone. His response is very moving, as he realises people do care and he’s not as isolated as he once felt.

This profound advertisement is the brainchild of John Lewis, in partnership with Age UK. The aim is to raise awareness and increase donations to allow the charity to get to the million older people that go for a month or more without speaking to anyone. Watch the advert here.


Allegedly the nations favourite gravy brand for nearly a century, Bisto have also jumped on board with their consideration of charities and joined forces with Contact the Elderly for their campaign entitled ‘Spare Chair Sunday’.

As the name suggests Bisto were upset that statistics show 1 in 7 elderly people ate Sunday lunch alone, or not at all. This project allows people to offer a spare chair at their Sunday lunch for an older person who would otherwise be alone. To read more details on this, or to get involved, visit their website.


Supermarkets were one of the first to adopt the belief that giving something back to their customers and community was a smart move, and they have continued to do so.

This year they have created a new take on a childhood favourite, the story of Mog the Cat. Mog’s Christmas Calamity follows the story of Mog saving Christmas. However, the writer, Judith Kerr, publisher, HaperCollins and Sainsbury's themselves are donating all of their profits from the books sale to Save the Children to improve child literacy in the UK. You can watch the advert here.

Pret a Manger

Earlier this year, popular coffee chain Pret-a-Manger announced they were dedicating their marketing channels and budgets over Christmas to the five charities they work with via the Pret Foundation.

The charities they support include: Glasgow City Mission, the Choir with No Name, The Clock Tower Sanctuary in Brighton, Cardboard Citizens in Whitechapel and The 999 Club in Deptford.

The campaign has its own website called ‘A Little Thank You’ which features stories and information about each charity and also features one on the homepage each week. The digital budget will be used across a variety of content for the charities, such as sponsored posts promoting their videos and blog posts, as well as a series of Instagram images telling the story of staff and service users.

We are thrilled to see that doing some good is now a major priority for brands who previously only seemed concerned with profits.