Skip to main content

Fisher-Price Wildlife Conservation Society Cause Marketing

Research and experience clearly demonstrate that one of the greatest determinants of success in a cause marketing campaign is the fit between the cause and sponsor.

But what does ‘fit’ mean?

If you’re a book publisher can you only work with literacy charities? If you make food, can you only partner with hunger charities? If you sell computers can you only work with schools?

And what if you make Twitter apps but want to conduct cause marketing, who do you partner with?

These and other questions came to me when I say this campaign from Fisher-Price benefiting the Wildlife Conservation Society, which I saw advertised in the Jan 2009 issue of Parenting magazine. Infant and baby toymaker Fisher-Price… started in 1930 in the fore-throes of the Great Depression, by the way…has been owned by Mattel since 1997.

Fisher-Price offers a whole collection of wild animal-themed baby and infant toys it calls Precious Planet. This isn’t transactional cause marketing. Rather Fisher-Price will make a donation to Wildlife Conservation Society of $250,000 regardless of how well the Precious Planet line sells.

Here’s how Fisher-Price substantiates its choice to partner with the Wildlife Conservation Society, a conservation and education nonprofit with a 114-year tie to the Bronx Zoo in New York.

“Children have a natural affinity for animals. We nurture this connection from their earliest days, giving them stuffed animal friends to hug and cuddle and introducing our pets to our children as members of the family. We read picture books about animals to our babies, and we teach our toddlers to identify them and the sounds they make. As our children grow, we take them out into nature and to places like farms and zoos where they can see many different types of creatures in real life.

”But the most important thing we can teach our children about animals is that we need to be good friends to them – responsible caretakers of the environments we share, so animals all over the world can be healthy and thrive.”

Using such broadly-stroked language almost any company could choose a charity partner with an environmental or conservationist mission, even that Twitter app company.

But do you buy it? Is the fit between Fisher-Price and the Wildlife Conservation Society valid?

I hope you’ll comment below.


Jane said…
Clearly cause marketing campaigns need to be relevant for a particular company or product so that consumers can understand the connection. In many cases, as in this Fisher-Price example, organizations are trying to broaden their scope to accommodate different consumer preferences. As long as the messaging supports the campaign, I am all for it!
Rama said…
Supporting a cause without a transaction focus isn't any different from sponsorship. My understanding of cause-based marketing was that such a campaign follows all the principles of marketing to get customers involved with the brand and the cause. And most importantly,the benefit to business can be established directly by associating with a cause. Fischer Price and Conservation of animals may not be too far fetched, but by not associating fund raising with product purchase, am not sure what impact Fisher-Price would have had on creating a cause-brand ownership in the customers' minds.

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…

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…

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…