Just as some companies use celebrity endorsement to promote a product, NGO’s deploy the same tactic to raise awareness regarding diverse social issues. This is the case of the Fair Trade Campaign launched by Oxfam and featuring Colin Firth as their brand ambassador. The British Academy Award winning actor has been part of the campaign since 2005 to raise awareness of the coffee conditions in Ethiopia, where more than fifteen million poor people are dependent on the coffee trade. If you research the campaign you can get information on how coffee farmers struggling to bear the burden of collapsed world coffee prices. The campaign not only gathered public attention, it was also successful in a bigger level since Firth lobbied on behalf of Ethiopian coffee farmers in their dispute with Starbucks over rights to the names of some of the country’s most famous coffees. Ownership of such trademarks enables farmers to charge a higher price for their products.
Different from the other ads that were based on selling the product, a lifestyle or a retail store, this ad appeals to a bigger social issue in terms of labor conditions and social justice. Moreover, unlike the other ads, this campaign is targeted to everybody because it is a global issue, you do not have to be a coffee consumer to be interested in this ad. And having the lovely Colin Firth there does not hurt, either.