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Showing posts from May, 2009

Funnyman Will Ferrell Wants to Lather You Up With Cause Marketing Sunscreen

The awkwardly-named Cancer for College is selling three varieties of sunscreen that strongly feature actor-comedian Will Ferrell. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the sale of the sunscreen benefit Cancer for College, which is a scholarship charity for cancer survivors and amputees.

The three varieties are ‘Sexy Hot Tan,’ ‘Forbidden Fruit,’ and ‘Sunstroke.’ Pricing is $11.99 per 6 ounce bottle.

All feature cheeky shots of Ferrell’s head on someone else’s body. Some of the shots are …ahem… more cheeky than others. The Sunstroke variety, seen on the left, has a double-meaning that also makes reference to Cancer for College’s several annual fundraising golf tourneys.

Cancer for College was founded in 1993 by Craig Pollard, a double-amputee and two-time cancer survivor himself. Pollard learned that many of his peers… kids who had also fought and won their battles with cancer… wouldn’t be able to attend college because of the financial toll cancer takes on families. He determined to do…

Why the End of the Recession Could Bring Hard Times to Cause Marketing

The end of the recession could bring new challenges to cause marketers.

I don’t think I’m looking too far ahead, either. The Index of Leading Indicators turned slightly positive in April, suggesting the economy has troughed. If history holds, economic growth is somewhere between one and four quarters away Stateside.

Although I think I can make a good case for cause marketing now while still deep in the recession, I believe we may emerge from the recession with a different environment for cause marketing.

Here’s the reason: America has too many retail stores. Retail analysts say that more than 200 of the nation’s 210 DMAs (marketing speak for 'designated market areas') were ‘fully stored’ in 2007! For most chains growth by adding stores has long since ceased to be a prudent strategy.

A number of retailers, unable to secure credit terms, are giving off a death rattle including Barneys, Blockbuster, Eddie Bauer, Claire’s Stores, Guitar Center, Michael’s Stores, Rite Aid. Blockbuster,…

Lack of Integration Hurts Lilly Pulitzer Cause Marketing Jubilee

In celebration of her fiftieth year in business, fashion designer Lilly Pulitzer... in conjunction with eight celebrity moms... is conducting a cause marketing campaign benefiting the Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation. EB is a rare and especially heartbreaking genetic skin disorder.

The celebrity moms include Gwyneth Paltrow, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon, Angie Harmon, Debra Messing, Marcia Cross, Bridget Moynahan, Catherine Bell, and Brooke Shields.

When you buy outfits from Pulitzer’s ‘Colorful Cause Jubilee Collection for Summer 2009’ proceeds benefit the EBMRF.

The mom and me swimsuit collection illustrated to the left is from the Gwyneth Paltrow collection.

I have my usual qualms about the ‘proceeds’ language. But more than that I think Lilly Pulitzer missed some tricks here, almost all related to a lack of integration.

The pronouncement was made in mid-April, yet the Pulitzer blog has only two posts, including the announcement itself. There’s a few mo…

DIY Cause Marketing Gone Horribly Wrong

Cause marketing is pervasive these days in part because the simplest transactional campaigns are so easy to understand and not too complicated to execute.

But there are times… plenty if you ask me because this is how I make my living... when companies shouldn’t be allowed to do their own cause marketing. For an example, look to the left.

If you conclude, as I do, that this is not a bad April Fool's Day joke, your mind automatically starts trying to draw connecting lines. My first reaction was that maybe the sub rosa meaning was that by using the product it would obviate the sexual drive and the children that often result when it’s not…um… obviated.

But, in fact, there is no such connection here, and that suggests that this campaign’s chances of success are limited. If I can coin a phrase, children are the ‘universal cause’ and it appears the promoters defaulted to it.

What would have been more fitting? The estimable author and nonprofit consultant Nedra Weinreich, who brought this to …

Profile of Cause Marketing Veteran Joe Lake

Blogger's Note: What follows is a profile and interview I wrote of Children's Miracle Network co-founder Joe Lake, who was recently installed as the CEO of the Starfish Television Network. This originally appeared in the Salt Lake Enterprise on Monday, May 11.

Lining the walls of the office of Joe Lake, the new CEO of the Starfish Television Network, a 501(c) (3) public charity and television network founded in 2006 and headquartered in Midvale, are pictures of the many celebrities he has worked with.

There are pictures of Joe with Goldie Hawn, Sidney Poitier, Jeff Bridges, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Rob Lowe and Walter Cronkite, and affectionately-autographed publicity stills from Bob Hope and Rich Little.

It’s something you’d expect in the office of a Hollywood agent, or at a celebrity hangout in Manhattan, or Chicago or Vegas. But the Starfish Television Network, whose mission is to tell the stories of nation’s nonprofits in a way that educates, entertains and inspires its audi…

The Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive Needs to Be Made Remarkable Again

Saturday May 9, is the nationwide Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive in the United States. If you’re Stateside, before you read anything else in this post be sure and put together a bag of non-perishable food items. Then get it out at your mailbox before your mail carrier gets there May 9. Start on paragraph two when you get back

You back? Good. I hope you included lots of high protein items. If not, go find an unopened jar of peanut butter (in a plastic jar, please) and add it to the bag, then come back and start with the third paragraph.

With that out of the way let’s talk about what word of mouth guru Andy Sernovitz calls “The Chocolate Problem.” Nobody, Sernovitz points out, has ever emailed a friend and wrote in the subject line, “Have you ever tried this stuff called chocolate? It’s amazing!”

Whether you like or dislike it, everyone knows about chocolate. And this campaign from Cambell’s, the US Postal Service and the National Association of Letter Carriers has a bad case of the chocolate…

Cause Marketing Advice to a Small E-tailer sells modest swimwear that is meant to be cute and colorful without sacrificing comfort. They currently donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the tankini top to the left... called 'Gabby'... to benefit breast cancer research. was started by three sisters, one of whom is a breast cancer survivor. The company is headquartered here in my home market, and so in the spirit of bonhomie I offer six suggestions to make the most of their cause marketing efforts.

First off, I commend you for including the reason why you support breast cancer research. That's good. One small suggestion, consider identifying which sister is the breast cancer survivor. She doesn't need to bare her soul, but this small change makes the promotion even more immediate.
Name the breast cancer charity you’re supporting. Your customers love that you’re doing cause marketing. But they want and need to know the specifics before this can influence their purc…