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The Brazen Mercantilist Division of the Cause-Related Marketing blog

In the last few months I’ve added brazen mercantilism to the cause-related marketing blog; Google Ads, Amazon, and now a “Lemonade Stand” with products for informal learners, which I write about on my other blog at The Learner's Guild.

None of these blatantly commercial efforts, however, really lend themselves to cause-related marketing.

So in the next few weeks the blog will also feature aprons, cutting boards, mousepads, sweatshirts, and… as required by law in more than 87 countries…T-shirts. All showcasing several cheeky versions of the Alden Keene & Associates logo above.

On the occasion of my 250th post I’m pleased to announce that when you buy any merchandise item with the Alden Keene logo, Alden Keene will donate $1.50 to the Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA). There is no upper limit on the donation and the campaign will continue until Sept 2009. COTA is an effective, honorable, and well-run charity that helps kids get life-saving organ transplants.

We all know that the wait-list for organ transplants can be horrendous. What isn’t well known is that most hospitals in the United States won’t undertake an organ transplant until there is proof of payment in advance.

The average price for a liver transplant… the most common organ transplant surgery… is $300,000! Even families with 90/10 insurance still have to come up with a $30,000 deductible before a hospital will accept them. And that doesn’t include things like the airfare and hotel necessary when the hospital is far away. COTA helps families raise the money necessary and negotiate the rocks and shoals of the organ transplantation process.

Why all the shameless emphasis on profit-making you ask? Hey, someone’s got to put my kids through college. And since they’re under 10, nobody wants to employ them. What else am I going to do?


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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. …