Skip to main content

Target and the National Teacher Appreciation Week

Cause-Related Marketing, Sans the Cause

Target advertised this gift card in their weekly flyer meant to be given to teachers in appreciation for their efforts.

Why? Because “teachers inspire and guide children to learn and grow and achieve their dreams.”

What should we do? “Show your teachers how important they are to you during National Teacher Appreciation Week, May 6-12.”

How? Well “The World’s Best Teacher Giftcard” is available in Target stores and online at Target.com.

Why now? Because for many kids in the States the school year ends in about three weeks.

The offer turns on “National Teacher Appreciation Week.” In fact, the full title of the week is “The National PTA Teacher Appreciation Week.” The National PTA Teacher Appreciation Week has been the first full week in May since the PTA founded the observation in 1984.

The National PTA is an umbrella group, a 501(c)(3) charity, that leads and coordinates more than 23,000 affiliate Parent Teacher Associations in every state in the U.S. Locally the PTA is the most grassroots organization imaginable, putting on fundraisers for school and teacher needs and advocating and lobbying on behalf of children before principals, school boards and politicians.

Many’s the politician (usually female) who cut her political teeth in local and state PTAs. The former governor of my state of Utah, Olene Walker… not only the first female governor of the state, but the also the first one with a PhD… has said as much.

But PTA is conspicuously absent in Target’s promotion.

If they’re not Federal or state recognized, there’s no sanctioning authority for these observances. And it doesn’t appear that National PTA Teacher Appreciation Week is a trademark of the National PTA.

In effect, what Target has done is create what appears to be a micro cause-related marketing campaign out of thin air but with no money going to an actual cause.

You could do the same thing.

I’m just going down Chase’s Calendar of Events for the month of May and looking only at observances that are not trademarked. May features National Astronomy Day and National Astronomy Week. May is also Awareness of Medical Orphans Month, Better Hearing and Speech Month, Clean Air Month, Creative Beginnings Month, Family Wellness Month, Fibromyalgia Education and Awareness Month, Freedom Shrine Month, Get Caught Reading Month, Heal the Children Month, and many, many more.

I don’t know whether to cheer Target’s inventiveness or decry their parsimony.

Comments

Alex Brown said…
Teachers influence our lives to a great extent. On Teacher Appreciation Week let applicate and make them feel special.

Popular posts from this blog

Three Ways to Be Charitable

I’ve spent a big chunk of my career working with or for charities. Many of my dearest and ablest friends are in the charity ‘space.’ And the creativity and problem-solving coming out of the nonprofit sector has never been greater.  Although I’ve had numerous nonprofit clients over the last decade or so, I haven’t worked in a charity for about 12 years now, which gives me a certain distance. Distance lends perspective and consequently, I get a lot of people asking me which charities I recommend for donations of money or time. My usual answer is, “it depends.” “On what?” they respond. “On what you want from your charitable activities,” I reply. It sounds like a weaselly consultant kind of an answer, but bear with me for a moment. The English word charity comes from the Latin word caritas and means “from the heart,” implying a voluntary act. Caritas is the same root word for cherish. The Jews come at charity from a different direction. The Hebrew word that is usually rendered as charity is t…

Five Steps To Nurture a 30-Year Cause Marketing Relationship

Last Monday, July 22, 2013, March of Dimes released the annual results of its campaign with Kmart... now in its thirtieth year... and thereby begged the question, what does it takes to have a multi-decade cause marketing relationship between a cause and a sponsor?

In the most recent year, Kmart,the discount retailer, donated $7.4 million to the March of Dimes, bringing the 30-year total to nearly $114 million. March of Dimes works to improve the health of mothers and babies.

Too many cause marketing relationships, in my estimation, resemble speed-dating more than long-term marriage. There can be good reasons for short-term cause marketing relationships. But most causes and sponsors benefit more from long-term marriages than short-term hookups, the main benefit being continuity. Cause marketing trades on the trust that people, usually consumers, put in the cause and the sponsor. The longer the relationship lasts the more trust is evidenced.

There's also a sponsor finding cost that…

Top Eight Cause-Related Marketing Campaigns of 2007

Yeah, You Read it Right. It's a Top 8 List.

More cause-related marketing campaigns are unveiled every day across the world than I review in a year at the cause-related marketing blog. And, frankly, I don’t see very many campaigns from outside North America. So I won’t pretend that my annual list of the top cause-related marketing campaigns is exhaustive.

But, like any other self-respecting blogger, I won’t let my superficial purview stop me from drawing my own tortured conclusions!

So… cue the drumroll (and the dismissive snickers)… without further ado, here is my list of the eight best cause-related marketing campaigns of 2007.

My list of the worst cause-related marketing campaigns of 2007 follows on Thursday.


Chilis and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
I was delighted by the scope of Chilis’ campaign for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. As you walked in you saw the servers adorned in black co-branded shirts. Other elements included message points on the Chilis beverage coas…