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Showing posts from April, 2009

The Cause Marketing Blog Jumps on the Star Trek Bandwagon

The day was March 9, 1967 and NBC had a challenging ratings failure on its hands called ‘Star Trek.’

The conundrum for network executives was that bad ratings notwithstanding, the people who loved the polarizing series loved it with the fire of a 1000 Vulcan suns. And so after threatening to cancel the series after the first season, NBC executives felt obliged at the end of the show that March 9, to make an odd live announcement. “‘Star Trek’ will be back in the fall,” it went. “And please don’t write any more letters.”

Fans had in engaged in an adhoc letter writing campaign that buoyed the series through that first season and through three more. In total, just 79 Star Trek episodes had aired. But to the degree that Star Trek has become a science fiction franchise it’s because in 1974 a group of 10,000 like-minded geeks gathered in at the Americana Hotel in New York City to dress up like their favorite Trek characters, screen individual shows and extol all things Trek.

People with single…

10-10-10 Cause Marketing

I’m still waiting for my copy of Suzy Welch’s first solo book 10-10-10 from Amazon, but I’ve already started to think of the 10-10-10 decision-making instrument in terms of cause marketing. (The photo at left comes from Welch's book website).

The premise of 10-10-10 is straightforward. When you come to important decisions you ask how you will feel about the implications of the decision in 10 minutes, in 10 months and in 10 years.

As a self-help approach 10-10-10 helps you make determinations according to your own moral compass. For that matter it helps you determine what your moral compass is.

For instance, Welch relates an anecdote from when she was the editor of the Harvard Business Review and giving a speech to a group of insurance executives in Hawaii. Her two eldest children, ages 5 and 6, break from their hula dancing class and storm into the room where she’s giving her speech.

There’s a 10-10-10 moment for anyone who has ever been a parent!

Here’s one from my professional experi…

Macy’s Cause Marketing for the National Park Foundation

Today, Saturday April 25, 2009, when you go into Macy’s and give $5 to the National Park Foundation, Macy’s will give you $5 off a $15 (or more) purchase and a ‘shopping pass’ that allows you 20 percent off basically anything else in the store.

In addition some undefined amount of the money generated will go to ‘local participating organizations that conserve and protect our environment.’ It’s all in celebration of National Park Week, which I was not previously familiar with.

The local charitable partner in my market is the Hogle Zoo, a facility and organization that I’ve always found underwhelming.

There’s a lot to like here. First off, I like the idea of the National Park Week, although so hard on the heels of Earth Day I don’t know whether or not this is the right week for it.

Other nonprofit organizations like heart disease and the breast cancer charities have successfully tread this path before. But it’s not clear to me that the National Park Foundation has the promotional juice of G…

On Earth Day This Cause Marketer Profiles Favorite Green Blogs

In honor of Earth Day I’m going to step aside from my usual emphasis on cause marketing to talk about 10 green blogs that can help you make a difference for the earth and its inhabitants., owned by Discovery Communications is kinda the 800 pound gorilla in this space. It’s a big spread out blog and sometimes that sprawl works to its favor and sometimes in gets in the way. But you can't ignore it.’s name tells you about its editorial focus. The surprising thing is how uncompromisingly true it is to both parts of its gets a lot of good press because it’s so refreshingly bright. The site follows the progress of Africans who by dint of hard work and ingenuity turn something silly (usually from the Developed World) into something useful in the Developing World.I’ve highlighted Echoing Green in brief last week. Echoing Green is a 501(c)(3) microenterprise lender to social entrepreneurs in 40 countries on five continents. Echoing Green's s…

Cause Marketing Odds and Ends

Electrolux is back with perky daytime talker Kelly Ripa just in time for Earth Day. The most interesting wrinkle in this year’s campaign is a kind of virtual paper icon campaign for the benefiting charity, Global Green USA. The money is donated by Electrolux a dollar at a time to Global Green USA’s green schools initiative when you virtually plant a flower.

KaBOOM, the nonprofit playground builder, convinced two-time Dancing With the Stars winner Julianne Hough (who spent part of her growing up years just a few miles from where I live) to pony up $100,000 for charity. The donation is also released a dollar at a time when you enter photos and descriptions of playgrounds in your neighborhood. Notably ecumenical, the $100K goes not to KaBOOM, but to six other charities like Jumpstart, First Book, YMCA, etc. There’s also a contest element to meet Hough. (The picture to the left comes from

Portland, Oregon-based fashion e-tailer launched with the promise to d…

GAS Your Cause Marketing

By profession, Tal Ater is a web programmer and affiliate marketer. But by inclination he is a “treehugger,” and, how to put this? … a bit of a subversive.

Go to his website called Green Any Site (GAS) and drag his bookmarklet... also called Green Any Site... to your browser’s toolbar. When you press the resulting ‘Green This Purchase’ button every time you make a purchase online a donation is made to green cause. Right now it’s Conservation International, but in the months to come GAS will benefit a rotation of green causes.

How does it work? Well, many e-tailers have affiliate relationships with other websites. If you steer someone to the e-tailer through your site and that person buys something, then you get a referral fee. Amazon and all the other big e-tailers you can think of have affiliate programs. (Order one of the great books from the Amazon column to the right and you’ll see what I mean.)

Well GAS donates 100 percent of that referral fee to their green cause du Jour. Referral …

Cause Marketing With Internet Games

It was my initial intent to shower praise on the cool The Bread Art Project, sponsored by The Grain Foods Foundation, a trade group, and benefiting the domestic anti-hunger charity Feeding America, (aka America's Second Harvest) But I can’t.

The Grain Foods Foundation will donate $50,000 and as much as another $50,000 based on the number of Bread Art submissions. When I visited the counter said 10,433 donations had been made.

It’s a fun promotion. When you go to you can create a piece of bread that toasts a picture or an image of your design. As things load, there’s a stream of nutrition and hunger facts. When you save the Bread Art image, and enter your name and email address, a dollar goes to Feeding America.

A pity there’s was no way to forward your image to friends or post it to your Facebook page. At least I don’t think it had the capability. I created my Bread Art image easily enough. But so far as I know the image was never saved and the donation was never …

Bolted-On Cause Marketing

On the left is an FSI page from Sunday April 5. The FSI (or Free-Standing Insert) is for Dunkin’ Donuts coffee in the grocery store, and the advertiser is Smuckers, which makes the coffee and licenses the Dunkin’ Donuts mark.

Opposite the coupon on the bottom left is a small blurb from Dunkin’ Donuts itself which promotes a cause marketing effort on April 21, 2009 that benefits Homes for our Troops. The 501 (c)(3) charity in Taunton, Mass. helps severely injured servicemen and women either build new homes or adapt existing homes for handicapped accessibility.

Homes for our Troops is a good and worthy cause
The trimmed size of the full FSI measures 10.75" x 6 7/8" (27 x 17.5cm), which is plenty for Smuckers’ purposes. But the 2.25" x 3 5/16" (5.7 x 8.5 cm) size of the Dunkin’ Donuts portion of the FSI is quite small. You can make out the black type that explains the campaign just fine, but reading the details in the reversed white type at the bottom is challenging.

As Quoted in Pizza Today

Along with David Hessekiel of the Cause Marketing Forum, I was quoted in the April 2009 issue of Pizza Today on the subject of cause marketing (the article "Just Cause" begins on page 55.)

It’s not the New York Times, to be sure.

But there’s an interesting side benefit to being quoted in Pizza Today; you get a special voucher that’s accepted at most small pizza parlors across the country that allows you to get extra cheese on your pizzas for free.

I plan on giving it a try tonight!

Me... Paul Jones... in the Company of Seth Godin, Malcom Gladwell and 97 Other "Visionaries"

This blog received notice yesterday that it has been named "100 Best Blogs for Those Who Want to Change the World" by the website

That puts me in the company of Gladwell, Godin, the U.N.,,, and dozens of others.

From the opening paragraph:
"The world is full of visionaries and people who want to make a difference in the world, and many of those people share their knowledge online through their blogs. Whether you want to change the world through environment, humanitarianism, business, or any other way, there’s a blog out there that can offer you guidance and inspiration. Read on, and you’ll find 100 blogs that can help you change the world."
If I was H.L Mencken, or Twain, or even Groucho Marx, I'd write something snarky right now about 'not wanting to be a member of a club that would have me for a member.'

Instead, I'll say thank you, That's very nice! Now Offers Job Board for Positions in the Fields of Corporate Social Responsibility and Cause Marketing

Faithful Readers:
As a service to you, the cause marketing blog now offers a job board listing current jobs and internships in the fields of cause marketing and corporate social responsibility, primarily in North America.
It’s in the column to the immediate right of the posts, the second item down called ‘Alden Keene Joblist.’
In the near term, the blog will also offer the capacity for hiring managers to post jobs here for a modest fee.
Warm regards,Paul Jones

Buy One Give One Cars

At its launch on March 23 in Mumbai, Tata Motors Chair Ratan Tata announced that when you preorder a $2,500 Nano, a needy family in India would get a matching Nano.
Details are sketchy right now. Apparently this was something that Mr. Tata said at a press event and it was picked up by the Associated Press. But there were no PR materials available regarding the buy one, give one scheme and Tata’s PR staff was flummoxed when asked for details.
At a later event when Tata, who looks a little like Harrison Ford, was asked to comment, said only that the marketing scheme was in formulation and details would emerge in April.
Needless to say this is the most intriguing buy one, give one offer since the buy a house, give a house campaign I posted about in February 2008. But in that case the house you bought was in Sacramento, California and the house you gave was in rural Burkina Faso in sub-Saharan Africa.
When I learn more I'll pass it on.