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It almost always causes a stir when companies try something completely outside of the norm. Recently, a few have focused on their models to make change — whether that’s by changing the models themselves, people’s perceptions of them, or their representation in media.

Here’s what we can learn from these remarkable model campaigns:

1. Ask people to get involved
2. Be unexpected
3. Find talkers with built-in networks

1. Ask people to get involved

Lane Bryant has turned their advertising calls to action into a call for representation. Their “Plus Is Equal” campaign exposes how plus-sized women are sorely underrepresented in the media and asks their customers to do something about it. Fans can share their manifesto, download their profile icon, join the pledge, subscribe to a mailing list, and add their stories and photos to a gallery. They’re not just representing a cause, they’re giving people a lot of ways to get personally involved.

2. Be unexpected

There are a lot of pit bulls in animal shelters. Many of them are rescues from illegal fighting rings, and many more are passed over because people assume they’re violent or mean. Photographer Sophie Gamand is looking to change that perception by using adoptable pit bulls as models in dreamy photoshoots. She created handmade flower crowns to drape over their ears and posed them in rosy, soft backdrops. The image of a pit bull in this setting is surprising, it catches you off guard, and makes you look twice at a dog that most people would look over.

3. Find talkers with built-in networks

For The Limited’s Fall fashion line, instead of hiring traditional models, they brought on 60 different women who are leaders in business, government, tech, education, and other fields. They also created video profiles for each of these models asking them about leadership, advice, and diversity. By using these women as models, they’re creating a network of talkers who have their own vast networks. Each of these leaders will pass along The Limited’s work to their friends, families, offices, and colleagues.

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