Social Entrepreneurship within a commercial world

Ben Steenstra
3 Apr 2019 | 4 mins read

Social Entrepreneurship | The LG 4G case

The Marketing Director of LG Benelux asked if we wanted to setup a photo competition for the introduction of the new LG G4 Smartphone. In that time it was the Smartphone with the best camera ever, so a photo competition had to emphasize this. It was not that he himself believed that "post a photo and win an LG Smartphone" would really contribute to his sales goals and positioning, but the President came up with it and wanted it to happen.

It is possible to find an advertising agency where you can bring assignments that, even if they do not contribute, are carried out. Fortunately LG knew better and they came to us to hear that, regardless of the budget, we would not develop such a photo contest.

The smallest act can make a positive difference

We like to contribute to society, but we keep the commercial objectives in mind. Our belief is that no matter how commercial an assignment is, you can always come up with something that gives a commercial campaign a social character and actually makes a (small) positive difference. Social Entrepreneurship is in the DNA of our company. We call this Meaningful Profit.

Within two days we came back to them with a proposal that would satisfy the LG President, contribute to the sales target and make a (small) positive difference.

Capture Optimism | Smartphone Photographer of the Year Award

The idea was to collaborate with the largest photographers community in the Benelux called Together we call on photographers to submit a photo reportage proposal on a social or sustainable subject. Of all proposals, 10 photographers are selected on the basis of the content and skills of the photographer and are funded to make their reports. Wherever the photographer wants to go, the expenses are paid. The only condition is that the photos are shot with the new LG G4. Ultimately, the winner will receive the first Smartphone Photographer of the Year Award ever awarded.

Capture optimism

Capture Optimism | The execution

The applications came in with various topics about Trafficking in Israel, AIDS hospitals in Africa, the Homeless in Brussels and Antwerp, the dying orangutans in Indonesia and the Syrian refugee flow in Greece. Based on tens of thousands of consumer votes and the jury's opinion, which consisted of ourselves, LG and, the 10 photographers with the most catchy social or sustainable subjects were chosen and sent on the road.

Capture optimism

Two weeks later, all the people we had previously reached through the Zoom community, Social Media, advertisements and store employees were able to vote for the photographer with the most impactful reportage. Eventually the winner became Maarten Boersema who portrayed a shred of humanity in a wonderful and respectful way within the harrowing Syrian relief camps in Greece. He was entitled to call himself The Smartphone Photographer of the Year.

Capture optimism award

Capture Optimism | The result

  1. Thanks to the subjects, the quality of the photographers and the way in which they have portrayed the optimism within the subjects, we have brought subjects that we would rather look away from to the attention of more than a million people.

  2. LG is a company that usually does not focus on loaded topics. Yet they have dared to commit to topics that you as a tradition Electronics innovator do not want to be associated with and have gained a lot of sympathy within their target group.

  3. The sales objectives were surpassed by 168% and everyone who remembers it in the Benelux knew that the LG G4 was the first Smartphone that is in no way inferior to a traditional digital SLR camera.

  4. The Capture Optimism campaign was rewarded by the LG Headquarters in Seoul with the Award for best CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) campaign of that year.

Capture optimism stories

We hope that this case about Social Entrepreneurship in a commercial world has inspired you and that with your next project or campaign, in addition to sales and exposure, social impact will become a third objective.

If you ever want to discuss Social Entrepreneurship in a commercial world or about how you start a Meaningful Profit Enterprise, the experts at are always available for you!

Article rating: 9.5 (2 reviews)
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