Soap & Glory embraces ethical adtech to fund The Hygiene Bank during Covid-19

Where advertisers such as Coca-Cola are freezing ad spend while they assess the impact of coronavirus on their business, Boots-owned Soap & Glory is ensuring the marketing investments it does make go some way towards a good cause.

The bathing brand joins Unilever's Knorr, Nestlé ​and Co-Op Bank in being the latest company to embrace Good-Loop's 'ethical adtech', which allows people to make a charitable donation by watching or interacting with an ad online.

Soap & Glory has teamed up with The Hygiene Bank, a charity working to ensure those living in poverty have access to basic toiletries, for the push which is running on Snapchat as well as Instagram and Facebook Stories.

Each time a user 'swipes up' to watch the ad, a portion of its marketing spend is allocated to the viewer, allowing them to unlock a free donation to give to the charity. Would-be customers are then driven back through to Boots' own channels where they can go on to purchase Soap & Glory products and further donate to The Hygiene Bank.

Soap & Glory’s original promotional tie-up with The Hygiene Bank began on 1 March and is part of a two-year partnership. The donation complements the brand’s existing commitment to gift one ‘Clean on Me’ shower gel to the charity for every 50 Soap & Glory products purchased.

"Like all brands, now more than ever we have a unique responsibility to be deeply thoughtful about any ads or content we might produce," said Soap & marketing director Katie Swift.

"By partnering with Good-Loop we’re able to continue the conversation around hygiene poverty in a sensitive manner, but now also with double the charitable impact."

Advertising for good

The partnership offers some insight into how marketing spend is being redirected and retuned as the global Covid-19 pandemic continues its spread around the globe.

Where Coke has paused all marketing investments for the foreseeable, Procter & Gamble (P&G) has revealed plans to go the opposite way and double down on brand building during the crisis.

The most recent Bellwether Report from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) detailed earlier this week how, over the past three months, UK marketing budgets have declined at their fastest rate since the 2008/9 global financial crisis.

Though marketers’ spending is poised to start recovering from the shockwaves of the pandemic by 2021, the current situation has seen a net balance of -6.1% of UK companies slash their budgets since the start of the year.

Fran Cowan, vice-president of marketing at the International Advertising Association (IAA), highlighted how companies that maintain some marketing efforts will most likely "reap the rewards and rebound quicker" from Covid-19.

“However, it’s important to do this in a controlled way. Now is the time to carefully consider where marketing budget is best spent, to look after employees, partners and suppliers as well as protect brand images.”

She continued: “Luckily in the UK, we have an industry that pulls together during these times. We’ve already seen some great collaborative thinking and initiatives that support the notion of ‘advertising for good’.”