Munchkin Inc. Project Pink for Susan G. Komen

Mother Love a Duck!

What motivates us to merge the interests of causes and companies?

Oftentimes the choice is intensely personal. 505 Southwestern, the chile sauce maker, supports Susan G. Komen in memory of the founders’ mother, Stella.

Munchkin Inc… which makes innovative products for parents, children and pets… supports Susan G. Komen for similar reasons. Serena Gillespie, the wife of the company’s vice president of marketing, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005 at tender age of 31. She had two children under age four at the time.

The privately-held company rallied around Serena and her husband Doug Gillespie. But they went a step further and developed a cause-related marketing campaign with two goals. One goal was to raise money for the cause. But the larger goal was to encourage young mothers to get screened for breast cancer.

Dubbed Project Pink, the campaign made use of pink bath ducks which were available in stores and online for $2.99. They chose ducks for their double-meaning, a reminder not to “Duck a Breast Exam.”

Moreover, since 1999 Munchkin has sold a product called the Safety Bath Ducky, which has a built-in device meant to warn parents if the bathwater is too hot. So the company and its customers have a history together with ducks.

Of the purchase price, $.20 or 100 percent of net proceeds (whichever is greater) from the sale of each pink duck goes to Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, with a minimum donation of $10,000.

Munchkin supported the campaign in their ads, with press releases and with a micro website. The website included a contest component that culminated with a trip for the winning family to Los Angeles, where Munchkin is headquartered, to participate in the Los Angeles County Race for the Cure. The race was held Sunday, Feb 25.

They also induced celebrities including Reese Witherspoon, Matthew McConaughey, Janet Jackson, Patti LaBelle, and others, to decorate pink ducks before auctioning them off for Komen.
The illustration above was an ad in the September 2006 issue of BabyTalk Magazine.

All in all a nicely thought-out and imaginatively-executed campaign that benefited from the fact that it came from the heart.

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