Star Power for the UN

The United Nations has received quite a bit of coverage over the last couple of weeks. There have been some important announcements regarding Climate Change, HeforShe and UNAids but the great coverage shows that, while the message is important, the packaging is what cuts through.

World Leaders Speak At UN Climate Summit

It comes back to that incredibly incorrect phrase ‘Don’t choose a book by its cover’. The inside of a book may be revolutionary, but if that message isn’t conveyed on first glance of the cover then it probably isn’t going to get very far.

What happens to important books also happens to an organisation of paramount importance to the world, the United Nation. This organisation has launched a number of exciting campaigns and held the global Climate Change conference in the recent past heralding the creation of some positive developments for our future.

Take the ‘HeforShe’ campaign for example. This program focusses on changing the definition of feminism and getting men to do more for in supporting equal rights for women. It is an incredibly important concept. But to have any lasting change there needs to be a societal awareness and group movement to support this change. And unfortunately the message alone doesn’t create this movement.


Get some influential packaging.

In the era of social media, revolutionary ideas find it difficult to gain cut through by themselves. Some gain great publicity through a snowball effect and slowly build up momentum over time, but these truly are in the minority. In order to quickly and easily gain cut through there is the need for some influential support.

During this productive UN period, Emma Watson, Leonardo DiCaprio and Victoria Beckham have been invited into the hallowed halls. Emma Watson gave a speech on the new ‘HeForShe’ initiative, Leonardo DiCaprio became the face of the UN Climate Summit delivering the opening address and Victoria Beckham has been introduced as the new Goodwill Ambassador for UNAids.

While these celebrities are clearly invested in the powerful causes they support, there are probably people inside the UN who have completed much more research and spent more time developing these initiatives. But these UN officials lack the societal relationship. It is much easier to believe that someone understands society when they produce something that is hotly demanded. In this case, whether it is fashion or film, these celebrities are perceived as ‘getting’ the average person much better than their counterparts in the UN.

This relationship is the factor that is driving this incredible publicity. They are note-worth because their other produce has been noteworthy. And as a result it gets many more shares on social media, it hits the front page of many news outlets and it gets discussed.

Through using these celebrities, the desired awareness is achieved. That is ultimately what will create the massive social change that is required by the United Nations.