Purpose, a new agency based in New York, has set out to create “21st century movements” – in some cases championed by major brands – to create change. One of the first examples of the work we may come to see more of is an online race they recently developed for the Livestrong organization, called I Ride for Livestrong. The online race mirrors an actual race – the 2010 Amgen Tour of California – which ran from Wednesday, May 19th and concluded on Sunday, May 23rd.
The goal of the game was to reach and engage new audiences, and those who want to become active in fighting cancer. The online ride was sponsored by Radio Shack and Trek bikes, whom have long supported Livestrong. Online game players where able to choose their own bikes, dedicate their virtual rides to someone who inspired them to join the fight against cancer, and race against other participants. Radio Shack had pledged to donate $75,000 if 10,000 people agreed to join the online face by 9AM EDT on Friday, May 21st – the goal was reached by 11PM on the preceding Wednesday, with Radio Shack ultimately donating $100,000 to Livestrong.
Jeremy Heimans, Purpose’s chief executive, talked to the New York Times about how the agency’s work in creating livestrongaction.org with the foundation was a great example of working on an issue “in need of a real, 21st century movement” that can “help shift individual behavior, change culture and influence policy”. In referring to creating social change via the political process, he added;
We think there’s a huge opportunity to build consumer movements – in some cases championed by major brands – than can reach hundreds of millions of consumers to give people the tools to use their power as consumer to make change on an even bigger scale.
An agency using its creative and technical resources to empower social and cultural change with the help of brands – vs. purely driving their sales? We look forward to seeing more work from Purpose (which is also currently working to promote the use of electric vehicles).