Creating a Better World: Celebs, Brands and Charity

eif revlon walk:run

Image from EIF Foundation

Any time I start a new project, I try to immerse myself in the world of my client. It’s my job to become an expert in their circumstances so that I can pair that knowledge with my instincts and figure out how to best guide them down the road to excellence. Now that our company is headed in a new direction, I’m applying the same philosophy to the work we do here. I think our team at Highbury is incredibly talented, and has the ability to do something really special that will make the world a better place. So what better way to move forward than to treat ourselves like our own client?

We live in an era when it has become fashionable for celebrities to use the media attention they receive to shine a spotlight on causes they are passionate about. One of my first research projects for this new era at Emma Approved is taking a look at these endeavors, including how fundraising events are structured, how the celebrities participate and the ways that brands partner with charities. If I were Alex Knightley, I’d call it doing a competitive analysis, but that just sounds way too boring!

Here are just a few of the many worthy causes I have come across while doing my research, and some of the different approaches that have been taken to draw attention to them. After all, why wait to start making the world a better place when you can begin to start making a change immediately, one blog entry at a time!

Run It Out of Town

Lots of people wonder how movie and television stars stay in such great shape. Some of them choose to put their workouts on display, combining their physical activity with an opportunity for fundraising. There may be miles to go before a solution or cure is found for some of these issues and problems, but these stars know that every journey begins with one step.

This year the 21st Annual EIF Revlon Run/Walk for Women will hold events in both New York and Los Angeles. The event was created by the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), Lilly Tartikoff and Revlon, and to date has raised more than $70 million for cancer research, counseling and outreach programs. The New York event takes place on May 3rd and will be hosted by Revlon Brand Ambassador Emma Stone. The Los Angeles event takes place on May 10th, and will be hosted by Revlon Brand Ambassador Halle Berry, Entertainment Tonight’s Brooke Anderson and Emmy Award-winning actress Christina Applegate.

Laughter Is the Best Medicine

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck teamed up earlier this year to do a double campaign for (Damon) and the Eastern Congo Initiative (Affleck). They posted a very funny YouTube video where they spend two and a half minutes making fun of one another, all in the name of supporting their chosen causes. Viewers were asked to donate $10, which would be split between the charities, and in return they’d be entered to win a trip to Hollywood and attend a VIP event with the two stars.

  •’s mission is “safe water and the dignity of a toilet for all.”
  • Eastern Congo Initiative “envisions an eastern Congo vibrant with abundant opportunities for economic and social development, where a robust civil society can flourish.”

Sing it Out of Existence

Musicians have a history of coming together to raise funds, including historic efforts like USA for Africa’s “We Are the World” and Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?,” which benefited famine relief, to the more recent 12-12-12 Concert for Sandy Relief, which raised money for the Robin Hood Relief Fund to benefit victims of the hurricane in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Later this week, Lyme Light: The Concert, a one-night event to raise funds for Lyme Disease awareness and development of an accurate diagnostic tool, is taking place in Los Angeles. Not every charitable endeavor that involves musicians has to be a mega-concert, and this is a great example. It supports the Tick-Borne Disease Alliance (TBDA) and features headliners All American Rejects, along with a slew of indie bands including Youngblood Hawke.

  • Where: El Rey Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
  • When: May 1st, 2014
  • Time: 8:00 p.m. PDT
  • Tickets: $35

 Official Trailer (Narrated by Natasha Lyonne)

Make the World a More Beautiful Place

I’m a big believer in putting your best foot – and face – forward. Many cosmetic and body care companies are now making it possible to complement your external beauty with the glow you get from doing good. Inner beauty really does shine through!

Dame Anita Roddick opened The Body Shop in 1976 with the mission statement “to dedicate our business to the pursuit of social and environmental change.” The very first year the company went public it sponsored posters for Greenpeace. Over the years, The Body Shop has funded myriad human rights campaigns through product sales, as well as supported the concept of community fair trade before it became trendy.

Last fall, The Body Shop asked consumers to “Vote With Your Lips” to raise money for animal welfare, human rights and environmental charities by buying Dragon Fruit Lip Butter. Purchasers were able to vote for their favorite charity amongst WeStopHate, Big Cat Rescue and Sprout Up. Although the “voting” portion of the program is over, through August 2014, consumers can still purchase Dragon Fruit Lip Butter and sales will support these three organizations.

  • WeStopHate is a Realize Inc. non-profit program dedicated to raising self-esteem in teens (teen-esteem) through various social media platforms that engage teens to help each other gain confidence.
  • Big Cat Rescue is the largest accredited sanctuary in the world dedicated entirely to abused and abandoned big cats. They are home to over 100 lions, tigers, bobcats, cougars and other species most of whom have been abandoned, abused, orphaned, saved from being turned into fur coats, or retired from performing acts. Their dual mission is to provide the best home they can for the cats in their care and to educate the public about the plight of these majestic animals, both in captivity and in the wild, to end abuse and avoid extinction.
  • Sprout Up: “Environmental education for the next generation.”Through weekly classroom workshops, Sprout Up taps into children’s curiosity to explore the world, along with their abilities to solve problems creatively and think intelligently, and applies that to environmental lessons that help kids create a more sustainable world.