Liberty Mutual and an interesting debate idea on responsibility

I was marvelling the other day at how the New York Time’s homepage manages to be so traditional looking and yet quite readable, when I saw an ad for Liberty Mutual’s Responsibility Project.

They are an insurance company. So want people to think about risk and responsibility.

But they have a cool video on there, which they say really took off as a TV advert in the US.

It’s a bit cheesy, being about strangers doing small things for each other, but I think it works really well. Take a look.

And more importantly, they are using the site for all sorts of debates about important social issues, beyond just their impact on society.

This is a great idea. With the power of their ad budget, they can bring people together, hire credible bloggers (as they have done), and promote it properly via the front page of NYTimes.com, rather than just linking to it on their homepage.

Of course, it’s not perfect, but it’s way more authentic than most of the corporate sponsored tosh you see on the internet masquerading as stakeholder engagement.

Oil companies, take note.

If companies want to have a role in encouraging real debate on important issues, this is not a bad way to do it. Well done Liberty Mutual.

Other companies can and should do this. You just need to go get a bigger budget, and think bigger than assuming everyone is interested in your carbon footprint.

We’re not, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get involved in facilitating debate on the topic, you can.

Just make sure it’s not all about you, and your issues, all the time.

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