Viacom Celebrates the Power of Stories in Its 2016 Social Impact Review
Drawing from new U.N. development goals, company recognizes brand initiatives that continue to make a difference in communities around the world
Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAB, VIA) yesterday released its 2016 Social Impact Review that details how the company amplified the unique voices of its audiences and employees to create positive change throughout 2015. The Power of Stories is the product of Viacommunity, the umbrella arm of Viacom’s corporate social responsibility program, which unveiled the report at a Social Impact Fair in its New York City headquarters that featured a musical performance by award-winning R&B artist Mario.
“Viacom continues to lead the way in delivering positive social impact through the power of entertainment and through the passion of our fans whose stories inspire us to act,” said Ali Jannello Tuck, VP of Corporate Social Responsibility at Viacom. “2015 showcased the incredible work of our brands to educate and mobilize viewers globally on issues that matter most to them: domestic violence and sexual assault, gender and racial equality, reproductive health, childhood education, veteran care, and environmental protection, among many others.”
To address society’s biggest challenges, Viacommunity focuses its efforts on six areas that align with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals: building inclusive societies; pioneering social change; promoting healthy living; inspiring future generations; empowering people; and managing business responsibly.
Some examples of 2015 successes include:
- The global impact of MTV’s Staying Alive Foundation and acclaimed Nigerian television series MTV Shuga, which together form a revolutionary mass-media campaign on sexual health. The foundation raised more than $2 million for ongoing HIV/AIDS projects, while female viewers of Shuga experienced a 68% reduction in chlamydia infections, according to the World Bank. In the U.S., MTV’s airing of White People, a groundbreaking documentary that examines race in America from the viewpoint of white Millennials, has helped provoke a national conversation about the realities of white privilege. Likewise, MTV’s Look Different Campaign created a gender-focused implicit bias quiz on Women’s Equality Day to address gender bias, and released an eye-opening study that shows how young people often have difficulty identifying issues related to gender equality, such as equal pay and “slut shaming.”
- The launch of Logo’s documentary films division to elevate stories that capture LGBT life and culture. Logo released five award-winning films including Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine, which earned the network a Daytime Emmy Award. During the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on same-sex marriage, Logo’s #All50 campaign allowed people to share personal stories and support for marriage equality. Additionally, the 2015 Logo Trailblazer Honors, which celebrates pioneers at the forefront of the fight for equality, was the largest televised Pride month event; there, it recognized activist Arsham Parsi for his work to aid LGBT communities in Iran.
- Viacom’s partnership with WITNESS, a global human rights organization, on a powerful public service announcement campaign in New York City. “WITNESS the Power of Story” used video projection and social media at locations across the city to highlight issues of gender, race, sexuality, among others, and to call attention to Viacommunity’s biggest campaigns. Viacom – through its NO MORE partnership with the Joyful Heart Foundation - also teamed up with Verizon to develop a TV spot that raised awareness of the 6,000 victims of domestic violence turned away from shelters every day. Viacom Says NO MORE PSAs also continue to run across our networks, sparking important discussion about domestic abuse and sexual assault.
- Nickelodeon’s national summer tour of its “Worldwide Day of Play,” with health and wellness-themed activities that encouraged more than 20,000 kids to get out and get active. The network also launched the first-ever “Get Dirty! Challenge” called on kids to submit videos showing how they were doing their part to protect the environment, and featured eco-themed TV spots with celebrities to demonstrate environmental stewardship. Nickelodeon Spain hosted of SLIME FEST, a musical festival to raise money to combat bullying and cyberbullying, in partnership with Save the Children. And through Nickelodeon’s Helping and Leading Others (HALO) Awards, 20 charities received $100,000 to turn kids’ causes into powerful change agents for good.
- BET’s “Where Do You Do It?” PSA to educate African-American women about breast cancer and empower them to take control over their health garnered 57.8 million views. BET’s What’s At Stake, a powerful weekly web series, continued to focus on the most critical issues affecting young people of color in America. BET Youth Experience invited 50 high school students to learn what it takes to put on a music festival as part of the network’s commitment to education and career development in the entertainment industry. And its Next Level website aided some 600,000 students in choosing the right schools and making career plans.
- SPIKE’s Veterans Operation Wellness (VOW) Guinness World Records™ Pull-Ups Challenge, which raised awareness of veterans’ issues including post-traumatic stress disorder and inspired vets to commit to their health. VOW works with dozens of veterans organizations to assist veterans lead healthier lives through training, exercise, better diet and engagement in their communities.
- VH1 Save the Music Foundation raised $2.3 million for 2,000 schools across the country in 2015, and put $1.4 million worth of musical instruments in students’ hands, with the goal of ensuring that every public school kid in America gets the benefit of music education.
- The advancement of CMT’s Empowering Education Community College Initiative, which assists people in rural communities to build the skills they need to thrive in today’s changing economy. CMT has hosted 20 free events at community and technical colleges across the country, using music and storytelling to encourage attendees to consider higher education opportunities.
- Paramount’s Got Your 6 Storyteller Awards, which spotlighted the talents of some of the best and brightest military veterans, and the studio’s volunteers hosted more than 400 veterans at a barbeque at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. 250 Paramount volunteers also participated in the 2015 AIDS Walk to raise money for HIV/AIDS research – its largest team to date.
- Comedy Central Latin America’s launch of its Stand Up Mobile campaign that encourages companies and parents to promote a safer online environment for children. As part of the award-winning campaign, three stand-up routines featuring renowned Latin American comedians were broadcasted weekly as PSAs to shed light on this important topic.
To read the full report, please visit www.viacommunity.com
Viacom is home to premier global media brands that create compelling television programs, motion pictures, short-form content, apps, games, consumer products, social media experiences, and other entertainment content for audiences in 180 countries. Viacom's media networks, including Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, Spike, BET, CMT, TV Land, Nick at Nite, Nick Jr., Channel 5 (UK), Logo, Nicktoons, TeenNick and Paramount Channel, reach over 3.8 billion cumulative television subscribers worldwide. Paramount Pictures is a major global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment.
David Lieberson, 212-593-5894