Bari Seiden-Young

The Estée Lauder Cos.’ annual Breast Cancer Campaign is getting a digital-friendly makeover.

The campaign, started by the late Evelyn Lauder in 1992, will have a heightened presence online. The campaign starts today, the beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness month, with touchstones such as illuminating the Empire State building in pink and executive chairman William Lauder ringing the New York Stock Exchange closing bell. Lauder will be ringing the bell virtually, and the Empire State Building will also be passing along messages on its social media channels from two of the campaign’s global ambassadors, actor Elizabeth Hurley, and Bari Seiden-Young, senior vice president of global corporate communications, citizenship and sustainability at the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc.

Estée Lauder will also be offering more donation opportunities at points of sale on the brands’ respective e-commerce channels. Twenty of the company’s brands, including La Mer, Aveda, Dr. Jart+ and Jo Malone will also be giving varying proceeds from sales of designated pink ribbon products to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which was also founded by Evelyn Lauder in 1993.

The Estée Lauder Cos. is also launching a social media component to the campaign, asking participants to post photos on social media with captions explaining what the pink ribbon signifies to them and the hashtags #TimetoEndBreastCancer and #ELCDonates. For every public feed post on Instagram and Facebook, The Estée Lauder Cos. will donate $25 to the BCRF up to $100,000.

“We’ve been using digital platforms in more ways than ever this year,” Seiden-Young said. ELC is also offering webinars to its employees for the month. “We’re trying to engage the global community for support. People around the world really want to show support,” she said.

Seiden-Young is no stranger to evolution, having taken the reins of the campaign for Estée Lauder in 2010. For the brand’s 25th anniversary, it re-branded from the Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign to the Breast Cancer Campaign, focusing more on “inspiring action” than raising awareness, Seiden-Young said. To date, The Estée Lauder Cos. has raised more than $89 million via the campaign, $73 million of which has funded 293 research grants of $250,000 each through the BCRF.

Seiden-Young said the campaign is The Estée Lauder Cos.’s largest social impact campaign, and it comes on the heels of the company’s voting initiatives. It also comes at a time when corporate citizenship and social conscience are an ever-growing concern for consumers. For Seiden-Young, authenticity and transparency are key to resonating with consumers. “We’ve always been transparent about where the money raised is going and how those funds are being used. That transparency is part of our company values, and that has not changed,” Seiden-Young said. 

Given the economic landscape, there are concerns about whether or not contributions will be more of a challenge. “Currently, there are concerns that contributions will be impacted. Breast cancer research faces the threats of cuts as we fight against [the coronavirus pandemic],” Seiden-Young said. “If anything, we feel this is the year we need to double down and do whatever we can to end breast cancer and save lives.”

“We remain steadfast in our long-standing commitment to the health and wellness of people everywhere who are affected by breast cancer,” said William P. Lauder, executive chairman of the Estée Lauder Cos. in a statement.

For more from WWD.com, see:

Elton John, Leonard Lauder Go Virtual for BCRF Hot Pink Party

Vera Wang to Be Honored at BCRF Symposium & Luncheon

Estée Lauder’s Post-Coronavirus Plan Relies Heavily on E-commerce

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