By: Ashley Byars
The Halo Awards are North America’s highest honor for corporate social impact initiatives with outstanding consumer or employee engagement. These prestigious CSR, cause marketing and corporate social impact awards focus on initiatives where brand purpose and social impact intersect to help build a better world—and bottom line.
Best of the Best (BOTB) Halo Award
Sponsored by For Momentum and selected by the Halo judges, the Best of the Best Halo Award is chosen from the full spectrum of Halo applications. It’s category agnostic and recognizes an initiative that demonstrates best practices in social impact engagement.
How is a Best of the Best winner chosen?
Beyond a gut feeling and personal experience, For Momentum fielded a study of Best-in-Class Cause Campaigns. We benchmarked 50 award-winning cause partnerships and interviewed the professionals who executed them. We asked them questions uncovering a wide range of details related to campaign goals, planning timelines, stakeholders and departments, activation strategies and measures of success.
We found several foundational elements across all 50 BIC campaigns:
- Authentic, long-term engagement
- Equal partnership activation
- Multi-channel activation
- Significant funding for the nonprofit
The winner: Expedia Group and UNICEF USA – “Give the World a Shot”
In the summer of 2021, UNICEF USA and Expedia Group and its family of brands – including Expedia, Hotels.com, Vrbo, Orbitz, Travelocity, Hotwire, ebookers and CheapTickets – partnered with the shared goal of accelerating the equitable rollout of COVID-19 vaccines.
At that time, less than 1% of the global supply of COVID vaccines was being delivered to low-income countries. The partnership between Expedia, one of the world’s leading full-service online travel brands, and UNICEF USA, which rallies the American public to support the world’s most vulnerable children, aligned on Give the World a Shot, which aimed to help safely re-open the world “one trip and one shot at a time.”
From August 5 to September 5, 2021, each booking made via Expedia’s mobile apps resulted in a $2 donation by Expedia to UNICEF’s COVID-19 response. Expedia committed to donating at least $10 million and enlisted the support of its brands and customers.
The Give the World a Shot campaign helped raise awareness of vaccine equity, engaged Expedia Group’s customer base and raised more than $10.5 million. Media impressions across Expedia Group’s social media platforms exceeded 15 million.
Even after the campaign ended on September 5, Expedia continued to encourage employees and customers to donate to UNICEF USA, which saw more than 8,300 new visitors to its donation form within a few days of the campaign’s end. Additionally, Expedia CEO Peter Kern urged others in the travel industry to help the cause through an open letter, which is still yielding results for UNICEF USA.
What made “Give the World a Shot” stand out?
Among a competitive field of over 120 Halo applications, this campaign was unanimously selected by this year’s Halo judges.
- Authentic partnership: The Expedia Cares program mission is to fight against inequality in all forms and shift circumstance and drive change in places that need it most. This aligns perfectly with the campaign’s goal to provide shots to low-income countries that didn’t initially have access.
- Equal Partnership Activation: The partnership was activated rigorously by both Expedia and UNICEF through social media campaigns, planning and activation.
- Multi-Channel Activation: The campaign launched a wide range of activations designed to raise awareness and generate funds to impact the mission goal. Efforts targeted Expedia customers, employees and consumers through advertising, including owned, paid and earned media reaching a potential audience of over 650 million.
- Significant funding for nonprofit: The campaign generated over $10.5M and provided over five million COVID-19 vaccines around the world.