I can recommend a new blog on the topic of Informal Learning; mine!
In it I'll review ideas, products, trends, tools, techniques and whatever else catches my eye on the topic of Informal Learning.
What is Informal Learning? Frankly it's hard to categorize. But that book you read on green gardening techniques or that show you watched on PBS about aircraft carriers both qualify.
You may do it with a career goal in mind like mastering Photoshop or just because you prefer to engage the gears in your mind rather than let it stall out in neutral.
I'll post at my Informal Leaning blog at least once a week.
I hope you'll join me there!
As an outsider, it can be hard to definitively identify a replacement program. But there are some earmarks. The most telling may be the language in the ad. When you read something like; “When you buy [our product] you help us make a donation of $250,000 to [cause].”
Or, as in the case of this ad from a free-standing insert (FSI) from Proctor & Gamble’s April brandSAVER, which reads:
“Now P&G has set a goal of donating 50 million more liters through brandSAVER. For every coupon you redeem from the April issue of brandSAVER,
P&G will supply a liter of filtered water to someone in the developing world who desperately needs it. And you can help just by redeeming coupons for the products you already bring home to your family.”
Let me be clear, without talking to the P&G folks I don’t know if this is replacement campaign or not. But I suspect that it is.
Carolyn, thanks for the question.
Until now, I’ve never published it on the blog. But the time seems ripe to share a version of it with all my readers. The chart we use is in graphic form and has more information. But what follows is substantially the same.
I need to give props to Professors Michael Jay Polansky and Richard Speed of the University of Newcastle and University of Melbourne respectively in Australia, who published it in their paper called “Linking Sponsorship and Cause-Related Marketing.”
Without further ado, The Five Flavors of Cause-Related Marketing:
- Broad-Based. A large campaign, perhaps one the runs year-round, and generally has no limits on the donation that might be made. Example: the General Mills Box Tops for Education effort.
- Limited. A campaign where the amount of donation is capped. For instance: Five pence goes to charity for each litre of petrol pumped up to ₤100,000.
- Market focused. A campaign that targets a specific market. Example: A credit card issuer gives $3 to charity every time a new customer signs up for their card.
- Replacement. In this type of campaign the donation has already been made or pledged to the charity and the fundraiser serves to replace that donation.
- Multiphase. In a multiphase campaign, there may be several steps leading up to the donation. For instance, the Silk Soy Milk campaign that requires you to enter a number from the carton’s green cap, and which also enters you into a sweepstakes.
Today we have two things in our tombala. The first is a campaign from Denmark that uses glass bottle recycling to raise money for nonprofits. The second is from Cox Communications in the United States that is part Yelp.com, part AngiesList.com and a fundraiser for charities at the same time.
The Fortune at the Bottom of the Bottle
As a kid growing up I earned money by taking glass bottles back to stores for the $.o5 cent deposit. The beverage bottling companies put the kibosh on bottle deposits in most of the 50 states (and worldwide, for that matter). Still 11 states have bottle deposits. Worldwide bottle deposit laws are in force in parts of Canada, parts of Australia, in Germany, Scandinavia and Denmark.
Now in Denmark when you return bottles to the retailer Coop Denmark’s 14 Kvickly xtra stores, you can choose to have the deposits go to two charities, UNICEF Denmark or DanChurchAid. Since the campaign started in September 2007 it’s generated more than 120,000 Krone, or about $25,750.
That seems modest, but bear in mind that the campaign is taking place in just 14 stores and has been going on for only 7 months. This is a "fortune at the bottom of the pyramid" territory.
As I mentioned bottle deposits are only required in 11 States, but because they include two of the most populous, California and New York, about 30 percent of the U.S. population lives in places with bottle deposit laws. In other words, there’s a large enough population base living in States with bottle laws that this campaign could certainly be successfully adopted in the United States.
Kudzu.com is a search service to help locals identify service providers like landscape designers to help you control the kudzu climbing over your fence, or plumbers. But you can also find restaurant reviews and the like, as with Yelp.com. There’s a ranking system for providers, a little bit like Angie’s List. But unlike Angie’s List, there’s no subscription fee. Kudzu.com is free.
Review sites don’t have any value unless there are reviews posted there. So to sweeten the pot when you write a review, Kudzu.com will donate $.75 cents to your charity of choice. Kudzu .com wants charities to encourage people to write plenty of reviews as a fundraiser for their charity of choice. The headline reads “Easy fundraising without candy bars and magazines,” a nod to the kind of fundraising that is common for youth organizations in the United States.
The reviews on Kudzu.com are strongest in Cox’s market areas. But the fact is, Cox certainly wants Kudzu.com to be nationwide. So a Kudzu.com fundraising campaign could take place anywhere in the United States.
Today is Earth Day and in honor I review the current Louis Vuitton campaign for The Climate Project, Al Gore’s nonprofit wherein some 2,300 volunteers in the United States, Australia, Spain, India, the UK and Canada deliver a version of the Nobelist’s famous climate change slideshow.
Strictly speaking this isn’t cause-related marketing. If you buy the Vuitton suitcase in the photo a donation is not made to The Climate Project. Still, I think there’s value for cause marketers to study this advertising campaign meant to call attention to Vuitton’s efforts on environmental sustainability and to the mission of The Climate Project.
A quote from Al Gore on the Vuitton website puts it this way, “The Climate Project has made great strides in educating people all over the world about climate change and the solutions that will be necessary to solve the crisis. We welcome Louis Vuitton as a valuable partner in advancing this message.”
The art to the left is a billboard from Boston.com, but I first saw the ad in Time magazine’s April 2008 Style & Design issue.
In the magazine the copy reads: “Some Journeys cannot be put into words. New York. 3 a.m. Blues in C. Keith Richards and Louis Vuitton are proud to support The Climate Project.”
Luis Vuitton, the French leather goods company and fashion house, is currently running several versions of the campaign in luxury magazines. There’s also one with Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi in an embrace. But the art in that version… both shot by celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz… is entirely too romantic and fresh looking and, well, boring.
By contrast, you can’t take your eyes off this image of the marvelously dissipated and leathery Keith Richards, age 64.
At the risk of parsing this out too far on Earth Day, I wonder if the two photographs don’t represent two different views of where we stand with climate change.
On the one hand there’s the almost dewy version with Agassi and Graff; two fit, youngish, beautiful people, the parents of two small children with a hopeful lifetime ahead of them! In this version there’s plenty of time to change.
Then there’s the view represented by Richards’ photograph; rich, indulgent, squandered and almost certainly nearly dead. In this version time is all but up.
Happy Earth Day!
You’d have had to have been in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia the last year or so to have missed the run up of microfinance. Between 2004 and 2006 more than $4 billion of capital flowed into microfinance institutions. All told experts say the total loan microfinance loan portfolio may be as much as $12.5 billion. And of course the father of microfinance, Muhammad Yunus won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. Microfinance is now so respectable, so effective, (so profitable!) that it’s already enjoying its first global backlash.
Actually that first sentence is hyperbole. Because even in Ulaanbaatar… far from almost anywhere on the vast, frigid steppes of Mongolia… microfinance is thriving such that the earliest recipients of micro loans there are now complaining about taxes and government bureaucracy! And May 29-31, 2008 the Conference of Microfinance Institutions will convene in Ulaanbaatar, the eleventh such annual conference.
Called KivaB4B, it works like this:
When a business makes a donation to Kiva using its Advanta credit card, Advanta will match that donation up to $200 a month. The campaign also serves to promote the Kiva affinity credit card.
I couldn’t find anything that said if the promotion had a predetermined end date or if there was some other kind of cap on Advanta’s matching dollars. Also, because of billing cycles and such, the Advanta matching money isn’t likely to go to the same Developing World entrepreneur as the cardholder’s donation.
Pretty cool, eh?
As an old telethon writer, I can promise you that matching donations work like crazy on the hoi polloi. Every time we ran a corporate match the phones would explode in 200 U.S. and Canadian markets. No doubt major donor fundraisers would testify of the same effect with the well-heeled. People in all classes give more readily when they know their donations will be matched.
The KivaB4B website is wonderfully egalitarian, useful and elegant in a Spartan way. The pages are divided vertically, with each entity getting half. When you click on a link, the link on the other side also lights up and both halves of the page display the information from their perspective.
I like it. It’s inventive and the execution is terrific. And the cause of ending poverty in the Developing World is increasingly resonant among the populace in the Developed World. The harping critics be damned; microenterprise isn't perfect, but it works. I especially like the way the KivaB4B site draws equivalency between small businesses the world over.
I’m a little surprised that Advanta didn’t add an extra piece to incentivize small business owners to adopt the Kiva card. I don’t know what Advanta’s new customer acquisition cost is, but a one-time donation of $25-$50 to Kiva for each new card signup seems like an appropriate number.
Finally, there’s no mention made of it anywhere in the materials, but the Kiva branded credit card probably generates a donation to Kiva itself to underwrite their operating expenses. Nothing wrong with that. Kiva has a very small staff and relies heavily on volunteers the world over. It’s a wonderfully efficient charity. But it still has expenses.
I hope other credit card issuers are taking note of this promotion.
- I just got a renewal offer from Fast Company for a $5 subscription, for instance. As in dollars, not Euros.
- Another unnamed business magazine kept sending me issues months after my subscription had lapsed.
- And while it’s hardly scientific, I’m certain I’ve recently seen more ‘space available’ ads going to nonprofits than in the past.
The opportunity is in what’s called ‘space available advertising.’ Magazines (and newspapers for that matter) have long offered nonprofits free ad space based on availability. That is, if they didn’t sell all their adspace, they’d fill it with an ad from a charity free of charge.
There’s a catch, of course. Charities have to provide the ads in multiple formats; the publication won’t do it for you. Moreover, every magazine you target will have different requirements. And, not surprisingly, when the people who design pages look for ads that fit the available space they’re more likely to choose attractive ads over ugly ones. In other words, it’s probably best to leave your ad's design to professionals.
Your ads will need a call to action, but you probably can’t get away with direct ask for donations. But check with the magazine first to see what they will and will not allow. And if you’re a charity in Knoxville, Tennessee serving teenage mothers, you’re not likely to get into Time Magazine. Although you might get your ad into the Knoxville News Sentinel.
When you prepare your ad, learn the lesson from the Care ad above. The ad was in one of the big three American newsmagazines... Time, Newsweek, or US News... earlier this month, I'm not sure which. At the very bottom is a line that reads: “Space generously donated by this publication.”
Perception is oftentimes reality in this world and it’s better not to let any of your audiences believe that you paid for adspace that might normally cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Inevitably the network delivers its signal entirely online. Often as not the network enjoys a flash of publicity before ultimately flaming out.
But the Starfish Television Network, a 501(c)(3) charity which broadcasts over the air (via Dish 1000, channel 9408) as well as streaming live on the Internet, is approaching the important one-year milestone.
The management at Starfish, for whom I’ve done work in the past, knows very well what the Network's shortcomings are. They need some “appointment” television shows. That is, programs so compelling viewers will come back every week to watch them. They need wider carriage. And, it goes almost without saying, they need more money.
And of course there’s the usual chicken and egg problem that all nonprofits face in their early years. They have good ideas for programs, but currently lack the money to pull them off.
But to survive even a year means Starfish has got key people and important processes in place. Moreover, the people on board at Starfish are overwhelming TV people rather than Internet people. Collectively they have a very strong idea of what quality television looks like.
And while every person there expects that in perhaps 10 years Starfish will be an Internet only network, they still have get from here to there. With all due respect to Marshall McLuhan, while the ‘medium may be the message,’ not too many people watch message television just because of the medium.
Getting the money to run Starfish is by no means inevitable. But they do have some fundraising momentum behind them.
As for the carriage issue, Starfish is challenged by the coming of HDTV in two respects. First of all, HDTV requires more bandwidth. As a result carriers that might have added Starfish to their channel lineup for free in the past are hard pressed to do so now. Secondly, rare is the nonprofit that shoots and edits their programming in high definition. Meaning Starfish will remain standard definition for the foreseeable future.
That said, the TV people at Starfish have a few tricks up their sleeves to increase carriage even in the HD world.
If your cause would benefit by having programming air on Starfish, contact Linda at 801/567-3180.
If you have scads of money you’d like to throw at a charity that benefits a world of good causes, contact Todd at the same number.
And remember, because Starfish broadcasts on-air as well as online, its potential audience is much larger than any of the Internet-only nonprofit TV networks. So your programming can be seen by a larger audience and your donations go further at the Starfish Television Network.
Well, it's happened. I've now officially sold out my integrity as journalist blogger.
Yesterday I got a package from TOMS Shoes with the handsome alpergatas loafers on the left with a nice note from Blake Mycoskie, the founder and CEO of TOMS Shoes.
I've twice posted on the great appeal of TOMS’ no-nonsense cause-related marketing; when you buy a pair of TOMS Shoes, another pair goes to a needy kid in someplace like Africa or South America.
It's a great approach that puts shoes on kids’ feet generates scads of word of mouth for TOMS. In my posts I made a few suggestions about other things they could do to keep the momentum going.
In gratitude, Jake from TOMS emailed me and asked me if I'd like a free pair. And in a momentary lapse of ethical propriety, I thought, what the heck?
So go ahead, Montblanc, Rollex, Steinway, send me something nice. Especially something that can be easily liquidated (such gifts are taxable in the United States, after all).
My journalistic ethics are now lying in shreds.
Oops. Wait a minute, I'm a consultant not a journalist. Of course I’m for sale!
Like any fashion magazine, Teen Vogue is mostly ads of girls in fashionable attire in chichi locales. So this ad for a cause-related marketing campaign from Proctor & Gamble’s Tampax brand really pops.
The campaign is another branch of Proctor & Gamble’s growing relationship with African causes and the United Nations. P&G’s water purifier brand Pur supports water purification efforts in Kenya. And P&G has been doing a packaged goods cause-related marketing campaign for UNICEF for at least a half-dozen years.
The campaign is multi-faceted and, frankly, more than just a little confusing. You don’t need to go to the beinggirl.com/hero website to get that. Just look at the ‘logo soup’ at the bottom of the ad.
Here’s the bones of the campaign: P&G is donating $1.4 million to HERO, a campaign of the United Nations Association (UNA-USA). The money goes to support orphans and other vulnerable children in the African countries of Ethiopia, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia. Since some 12 million kids in Africa have lost one or both parents due to AIDS, the campaign has a special emphasis on kids affected by that scourge. HERO monies go to providing clean water, building classrooms, and of course providing sanitary pads to girls who would otherwise miss school during their menses.
P&G's HERO campaign has a youth ambassador element whereby 24 kids… girls and boys… from the U.S. go to work in African villages during the summer. On the website there’s a donate now button, some suggestions on how to raise money for HERO, some factoids on Africa [“The cheetah (an indigenous animal of Africa) can run faster than any other land animal, at speeds up to 70 mph!”], video webisodes from the work of the 2006 Ambassadors, and more.
I like it. It’s important and life-changing and the ambassador campaign is a smart touch. Although it doesn’t seem like the website or the program is fully leveraged given the audience.
That said, the creative gives me pause, particularly the call to action. It reads: “Use your period for good.”
I’m long past any boyhood embarrassment about menstrual periods. I have a wife, daughters, a mother, four sisters, a mother-in-law, and six sisters-in-law. My consulting business is as likely to put me in the company of women as men. I live surrounded on all sides by a wall of estrogen. (And I’m comfortable enough in my own masculinity that don’t even need/have a ‘mantuary’).
Moreover, it’s fair to say they didn’t write the copy for me in particular or for men or boys in general. They wrote it for girls. I dare say that Proctor & Gamble probably did some copy testing to make sure it ‘played.’
I don’t want to parse this out too far, but in American English the line has a double-meaning. “For good” certainly means what it sounds like; use your period to benefit others. However, in the American idiom “for good” also means ‘permanently.’
That’s where it gets sketchy for me.
RIF has decades of experience engaging with its audience, how does this compare?
This campaign leveraged the communication and marketing channels of a
corporate partner to excite parents and community members to read to their
children. Communicating through in-flight magazines, in-flight videos, airport lounges and displays and other methods helps RIF to message the importance of reading in places we would never otherwise be able to use to support our message. It’s a one-of-kind opportunity to extend our message!
How long have you had a relationship with USAirways and what has been its nature in the past?
RIF and US Airways have been working together since 2007. US Airways
supported our 2007 Gift of Reading Awards Gala – our annual benefit in Washington DC.
Did you test the concept of the finished product on your audience(s)? If so, what did you learn?
RIF and US Airways reviewed all materials internally, gaining feedback and
suggestions from both early childhood educators and experts and marketing and
communications professionals. Due to the timeline, we did not have a chance to
test the concepts on external audiences.
Playing online is the opposite of the kind of reading RIF typically encourages. How do you strike a balance between building a site that's so engaging people don't want to leave and accomplishing the goals of the campaign and the mission of RIF? Do you feel like you achieved that balance?
The Read with Kids Challenge website actually is geared towards adults, not
children, as you must be 18 years or older to be able to register for the challenge. With that in mind, the goal was to help foster a sense of community for the adult registrants and to create a website that would be enjoyable for them to share with their children. We know that when kids see their parents reading and talking about literacy it helps to show the importance the family places on reading. In general, RIF is dedicated to motivating young children to read by helping them discover the joy of reading through whatever means inspires each child. Our award-winning website, http://www.rif.org/, is full of fun games and activities that compliment literacy development in children. We don’t see any disconnect between having fun reading online and reading a book—both accomplish the goal of showing children that reading can be a fun activity!
What did the site cost to build? Who paid for it?
The website was sponsored by US Airways. The costs included both web
development costs and the staff time to promote and maintain the challenge.
Who did the work itself?
The planning and implementation of the campaign in all its aspects has been
managed by a team of 9 people at RIF, and a core team of 4 at US Airways.
Additional staff at both organizations have assisted with various aspects of the
campaign as needed. The print materials for the “Fly with US. Read with Kids.”
Campaign and the “Read with Kids Challenge” website were designed RIF and US
Airways. The customized Maisy book, Come Fly with Maisy, was created by
Candlewick Press. It’s been quite a joint effort!
Who developed the campaign?
The campaign concept was developed through months of brainstorming
conversations between US Airways and RIF.
What's the total campaign cost and who is paying for it?
US Airways is leveraging a variety of their assets to help promote RIF’s message and vision, particularly by providing both in-king marketing support as well as a generous financial donation. RIF values the partnership at approximately $1 million.
Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) promotes family literacy and dates to 1966. It's the oldest and largest such literacy organization in the United States and darn hard to miss. Chances are, every American who's ever been in public or school library has seen their posters, which feature images of the celebrities of the day encouraging kids to read.
Currently RIF is doing an interesting campaign sponsored by US Airways called "Fly With US. Read With Kids." It's targeted at adults, encouraging them to log minutes reading with a child.
There's a media component with NBC's 'The Today Show,' a dedicated microsite with a 'paint-a-plane' element, and a sweepstakes with a grand prize trip to Walt Disney World in Florida. Throughout March every US Airways passenger received a book to share with a child.
In other words, there's a lot to learn from this promotion from some veteran campaigners. And... believe it or not... it all started when US Airways attended RIF's 2007 gala. Proof positive that you can cross-pollinate your fundraising and cause-related marketing efforts.
I conducted an online interview with Laura Goodman, Director, Corporate Relations at RIF, and asked 15 questions. In today's post we'll cover the first seven questions and answers. On Thursday I'll post the remaining 8 questions and Laura's answers.
Who is your audience/audiences for the campaign?
"The audience for the campaign includes RIF’s coordinator network, US Airways
employees, and the general public."
What are your goals for the campaign?
"RIF and US Airways share a goal of an increasing the public’s awareness of the importance of children’s literacy. Together, we’ve created a variety of resources for parents and volunteers to foster excitement for reading with children, such as the online “Read with Kids Challenge,” placing Maisy books on the planes, and US Airways support of local RIF programs.
How will you measure the campaign's success?
"The success of the campaign will be measured in a number of ways including: media coverage, US Airways employee/customer feedback, level of employee volunteerism, increased donations to RIF, increased internal/external awareness of the airline’s corporate citizenship initiatives, increased traffic to rif.org, number of participants in the reading challenge, number of collective minutes read to children, number of books distributed, number of communication materials distributed about RIF and reading and other program specifics. We already know that campaign has been successful because over 300,000 books have been distributed to children, 1 million minutes read and thousands of dollars donated to RIF."
How did the campaign come about?
"The 'Fly with US. Read with Kids.' campaign was built around the goal of both RIF and US Airways, which was to increase the public’s awareness of the importance of children’s literacy. US Airways was interested in partnering with RIF because children’s literacy is a cause that is important to every person in every community. RIF is happy to partner with US Airways as a chance to reach a broad audience with our mission.
When did you launch?
"The “Fly with US. Read with Kids.” Campaign officially launched on February 29, 2008
How long will it go on?
"The on-flight books will be available through the month of March. The Read with Kids Challenge runs through May 31, 2008. The support of local RIF programs, the lending libraries in US Airways clubs, and information will be available for the rest of 2008."
What prior experience did RIF have with an online effort like this?
"RIF has an award-winning website, and we have conducted several successful online reading contests for children, including a Summer Reading Contest sponsored by Target in summer of 2007."