The Russian invasion of Ukraine moved a wide swath of the business community to announce humanitarian donations of money or services and many to stop their Russian operations. The speed with which many companies have acted is admirable and for many the seriousness of ceasing commerce in Russia is quite significant.
A recent survey by the American Association of Advertising Agencies indicates a majority of American consumers approve of such actions.
In large part due to the fast-moving nature of the Ukraine crisis, however, few of the corporate gestures could be classified as highly creative. A few exceptions have caught my attention:
— Airbnb offered free temporary housing to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees and pledged to encourage its network of hosts to provide free or discounted housing to refugees.
— The Conqueror, an international social impact startup of gamified fitness events, quickly mobilized their community and donated $500,000 for the Red Cross and Save the Children delivering aid and immediate resources to Ukrainian civilians. In only one week, over 15,000 participants around the world joined the Stand With Ukraine Virtual Challenge Fundraiser. The 36-mile challenge allowed participants to virtually explore beautiful landmarks of Kyiv in order to honor the city through The Conqueror mobile app.
— Pilot Company, which operates 650 company-operated travel centers in the U.S., is raising funds through an in-store round-up campaign for Save the Children, a global humanitarian organization actively working to meet the urgent needs of children and their families in Ukraine and the region. Now through April 3, consumers can round-up most purchases to the nearest whole dollar and donate the additional amount to Save the Children.
— Depositphotos, a Ukraine-based stock photography platform, launched the royalty-free “Say No To War” collection of images depicting the conflict and protest rallies around the world against the Russian aggression. The company urged the media and private citizens to use the images to spread the word about what is happening in Ukraine.
— AB InBev used its brewery facilities to create 2 million cans of water to provide to people in need in Ukraine.
Unfortunately it appears this conflict will be continuing for some time. It will be interesting to see how companies respond to it in the months to come.