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Showing posts from January, 2007

Getting People to Act on Your Cause-Related Marketing Campaign

What's Your Social Marketing Campaign's 'MacGuffin?'

Alfred Hitchcock, the legendary filmmaker, used to speak of a movie's 'MacGuffin,' or plot device. "In crook stories it is always the necklace and in spy stories it is always the papers," he said.
In short, a MacGuffin is a mechanical device that impels action.
Now for Hitchcock, the MacGuffin was often no more than a device, one that he often neglected after the action got going. But I'm not going to use the word that way. When I use the word I mean, what is in your cause campaign that makes the target audience act?
At first blush you might say that the cause or perhaps the offer is the MacGuffin. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, cause-related marketing campaigns sprouted up spontaneously and they worked. The cause was the MacGuffin in those cases.
The same could probably be said of several breast cancer charities and one or two environmental charities; the cause by itself impels action.

Save Matt: Philips and the American Heart Association II

How the Save Matt Campaign Came Together and Was Promoted

Tuesday’s post was about how to use public relations to drive a cause-related marketing campaign drawing on the experience of the American Heart Association, RoyalPhilips Electronics and their Save Matt campaign. This posting will talk about how that promotion came about and outline some details and major elements.

The Save Matt promotion offered the American Heart Association $500 (up to a maximum of $20,000) for the signature of each celebrity who signed Philips' paper mannequin training mat (called 'Matt') during the run of the 2007 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

At the end of the Festival Matt will be auctioned on eBay for an additional donation to the AHA.

Philips sponsored the Village Lift credentialing area. A variety of Philips products were on display in the area, called the Philips Simplicity Lounge. Among those products were some of the company’s automated external defibrillators. Celebrities who …

Save Matt: Philips and the American Heart Association

PR-supported cause-related marketing

It’s probably fair to say that more cause-related marketing campaigns are supported by public relations than by advertising.

This is a sophisticated audience so there’s no need to detail the differences between advertising and public relations. Suffice it to say that while PR has greater credibility, it’s challenging to get the frequency using PR alone that you can get with advertising. Advertising offers frequency, but it can certainly be expensive and it’s less credible than PR.

Illustrated is an example of PR-supported cause-related marketing undertaken by RoyalPhilips Electronics to promote products like their OnSite Heart Defibrillator at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

Park City is very easy to get to and has a number of charms besides natural beauty and first-rate skiing. And so the Festival draws a lot of celebrities and a fairly chi-chi crowd. As a result when you watch Entertainment Tonightor Access Hollywoodor any of the other…

Cantilena Music and the Cantilena Music Foundation

Sweet Music to the Cause-Releated Marketer's Ears

Is there any setting that cause-related marketing couldn’t be effectively utilized?

People ask me that question from time to time and my usual answer is “probably, I just haven’t found it yet.”

Once best known as a packaged goods promotion, nowadays cause-related marketing is even successfully used in B2B settings, although I’ve never heard any writer or researcher address that particular wrinkle.

So I’m not surprised to find cause-related marketing utilized by Cantilena Music, which provides commissioned music for companies, weddings, birthday and valentines gifts, and the like in packages ranging from $1,800 to more than $5,500. The price varies based on how many instruments the commission is to be written.

Cantilena… which means a “sustained, smooth-flowing melodic line”… coordinates musical commissions for its stable of composers. As the commissioner you get a classical-style piece several minutes long, the sheet music signed by the…

Keeping Your Cause-Related Marketing Relationships Fresh

Add to the Bank

It’s fair to say that most marketers are likely to grow tired of their marketing long before their customers do. So after a few meaningful years it’s easy to look at your cause-related marketing relationships and wonder how to get out of them.

In most cases, that’s a mistake. Just as acquiring customers is more expensive than keeping them, so too with your cause-related marketing relationships.

Moreover, unless you’ve spent tens of millions of dollars on your cause-related marketing campaigns for a dozen years, chances are a big chunk of your customers still don’t know about it.

When I was at Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) every person on the staff had at least five anecdotes about individuals who had mistaken CMN for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. This despite the fact that CMN dwarfed Make-A-Wish, got good publicity, was associated with 170 children’s hospitals and 210 TV stations, and had a telethon that aired for 21 hours each year.

I’d bet money that after decades of ad…

Irwin Union Bank Donation

Is ‘Any Charity’ As Good as One Charity?

My posting about 505 Green Chile Sauce talked about how a company might go about picking a suitable charity to partner with in a cause-related marketing campaign. My posting on Firedog Across America revealed a study which shows that customers respond best to CRM campaigns when causes and companies are well-matched.

But what if you’re a bank and have all kinds of different customers who aren’t tightly segmented, but want to try your hand at cause-related marketing? Couldn’t you get away with supporting not just one charity with a cause-related marketing campaign, but ‘any charity?’

Illustrated is an ad for Irwin Union Bank, an Indiana bank with branches in nine states. Here’s the offer: When you open a new certificate of deposit with $10,000 or more, the bank will make a donation of $50 in your name to the charity of your choice.

So if you’re fan of Oxfam, Environment Defense, the local homeless shelter, or your church’s missionary work in Africa, …

American Heart Association ‘Start’ Campaign

When Causes Market

The very largest charities in the States have enormous resources. The American Heart Association, for instance, has more than 200 chapters and affiliates, generates more than $900 million a year and had $647 million in its fund balance (read ‘profits’) as of 2004.

So it’s no surprise that they sometimes advertise, here for their Start 'movement' which is meant to motivate Americans to be more physically active. Nor is it surprising that the campaign has sponsors. Squint your eyes and look at the bottom of this ad and maybe you can see them. Or, you can just take my word for it that they are fast food sandwich chain Subway, food processor Healthy Choice, and pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca.

The ad appears in Sunday’s Parade Magazine, which appears as a supplement in the Sunday editions of 370 newspapers in the United States and claims circulation of nearly 33 million and a readership of 77 million.

Here’s a case where the cause-related marketing is being handled…

VIVA Glam Lipstick for the MAC AIDS Fund

Sexier Than Thou

Think your cause-related marketing is hotter than a firecracker? Confident your campaign is so steamy it could set off fire alarms?

Unless you’re MAC Cosmetics you’re probably kidding yourself.

These two ads, which ran near the front of the June and October 2006 Lucky Magazine, are for the MAC AIDs Fund. The campaign features impossibly-beautiful women wearing MAC Cosmetics as well as some actual clothing.

The offer is refreshingly straightforward and bare as the models’ midriffs. “Every cent of the selling price of MAC Viva Glam Lipstick and Lipglass is donated to the MAC AIDs Fund to support men, women and children living with HIV and AIDs.”

The language cuts the lard out of so many cause-related marketing efforts that obfuscate the actual donation.

The markup for cosmetics is astonishing, so this represents more than just an effort on MAC’s part to move more SKUs. MAC is paying for things like the ad and its production, the packaging, the shipping and of course their los…

Firedog Across America

More is More

This ad for Firedog Across America ran in the local newspaper last month. In the campaign people are invited to submit an essay that describes how a local firehouse has been a service to the community.

Firedog is the digital technology services division of electronics retailer Circuit City.

Ten firehouses will receive donations of $20,000 each and an additional $100,000 grand prize will go to the winning firehouse. The person who submits the winning essay for each of the 10 finalist will receive a “$10,000 tech makeover from Firedog.”

Once the ten finalists are determined, they will be posted at where people can vote for their favorite entry. Over the course of 16 days each vote is worth $1 to that firehouse, although the total amount for all the firehouses is capped at $250,000, no matter how many ballots are cast.

I like the $10,000 inducement to get people to nominate a local firehouse. That all but guarantees responses. But what caught my eye was the donation a…