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Cause-Related Marketing Potpourri

My email box has been filling up with releases from PR types about various campaigns. A handful are even about cause-related marketing!

Here then is a grab bag of worthy social marketing campaigns that don’t warrant their own posts, but are nonetheless worth mentioning.

Nov 19 was Luzianne Coffee’s “Non-Bitter Monday.” The event included trash pickups in five cities in Louisiana, and a $50,000 donation to be split among six charities: Make-A-Wish, Toys for Tots, Teach for America, Gulf Restoration Network, Habitat for Humanity, and America’s Wetland. The exact split is to be determined by votes collected at Voting ends March 31, 2008.

Reprise Media, a search engine marketing and optimization outfit out of New York City, and a division of Interpublic, has launched a pro bono initiative for nonprofits. Their first client is the Center for Global Development, a nonprofit think tank. Other nonprofits are invited to apply for Reprise’s SEM, SMM and SEO services at their website., a wholly-owned subsidiary of eBay launched in late October, offers people a way to loan money to the working poor in the developing world using the proven principles of microfinance, while receiving a return on their investment. Investments as small as $100 are accepted.

Origins Organics, which sells a line of organically-sourced skin care, hair care and bed and bath products in stores, is offering a branded reusable canvas bag. Quoting from the release: “100% of the profits from the purchase of this bag will be donated to OFRF (Organic Farming Research Foundation).” follows the lead of Epinions, Zagats and Amazon and allows users to review their experiences with nonprofits. As of today featured nonprofits are overwhelmingly in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Some random thoughts:
  • may scare the hell out of a lot of nonprofits, hospitals for instance. I don’t know if will be the final expression of user-generated content when it comes to nonprofits. But I do know that more than ever charities need to do a better job of managing all their stakeholder ‘touchpoints.’
  • The 100 percent of profits language in the Origins Organics offer is weak. And it’s hard to believe that the Organic Farming Research Foundation holds much built-in affinity for consumers.
  • It will be interesting to track how Microplace does. There are plenty of places to make donations in support of microfinance in the developing world. Will the addition of the profit motive expand the base of participants or contract it?
  • As for Luzianne, I dislike these mechanisms whereby there’s competition between charities. I don’t think it reflects well on Reily Foods, Luzianne’s owner, and I doubt it moves product as well as a more straightforward cause-related marketing campaign.


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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…

Cause-Related Marketing Meets Microfinance and Mix it Up

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.
Now Advanta, a credit card issuer to small…

Cause Marketing Beer with BOGO, Brew One Give One

On Monday’s post I touched on the topic of telling people what your cause marketing campaign accomplished when completed. I’ve recommended this approach to clients as a way to keep open the lines of communication with customers and clients and to get extra value from the campaign.

In other words, you’ll want to hold back some of the promotion’s budget to continue to activate the effort until the very end.

But what if that really cuts across the grain in your organization? What if it’s just not in your corporate DNA to do anything but to frontload your cause marketing activation? Well, then, add the report back to the activation of your next cause marketing effort.

New Belgium Brewing of Ft. Collins, Colorado, said to be the seventh largest brewery in the United States, did just that with this ad in Sunset magazine. I found this ad in the Alden Keene Cause Marketing Database.

New Belgium donates $1 for every barrel it brews and sells. It’s a BOGO cause marketing effort, Buy One Give One. …