Skip to main content

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 more in Facebook and a smattering in Twitter. On the Lilly Pulitzer website the promotion itself is obscured by the title in the menu board “Jubilee.” If you weren't looking for the word 'Jubilee,' you'd never know to associate it with the cause marketing promotion.

If you come to any of the pages for the celebrity designs any way except through the Jubilee area of the website, you’d be hard pressed to conclude that there was a cause marketing promotion in place.

Lilly Pulitzer’s colorful clothing has a fan base. But for customers in nearly 2/5ths of the States in the U.S., the only place to buy the clothing is online. So if individual product pages that are part of the promotion don’t draw the connection between the product and the cause, there’s a meaningful number of customers who are unlikely to learn about it on the Lilly Pulitzer website itself!

Nowadays you just can't presume that visitors to your website navigate their way to individual pages of your site starting at your home page and proceeding in a linear fashion. Every page of a website must ... to some degree... stand on its own.

Moreover in a case where the company has picked a charity that isn’t well known, like EBMRF, it’s crucial that there be a note or two of explanation about the why of that support. If it’s personal, say Lilly Pulitzer herself has a grandchild or one of the employees at Lilly Pulitzer has a nephew or niece with the condition it would help the promotion if customers knew that. And, rest assured, that could be communicated without exploiting any kids.

Even if it’s not personal, customers need to know the why of it to make sense of it in their own minds. It's not enough to say it's a 'good cause.' I, personally, know of hundreds of good causes. Perhaps the cause was persoanlly affecting to Lilly Pultizer herself. Maybe the cause itself is wonderfully efficient. Or their research approach is especially innovative. Customers want to know the why of a company's support for a charity that is featured in this way.

Two parting thoughts: A limited number of the celebrity designed outfits are available. More could be made of that scarcity in the promotion. Lilly Pultizer might have considered making at least one item of each celebrity’s line super exclusive and sold it at a premium price with correspondingly higher percentage of the proceeds going to EBMRF.

It might even be fun to encourage a sense of 'competition' between the celebrity moms over whose line sells the best. Imagine Brooke leading but then falling behind Angie Harmon's line. She might tell her agent to book her on Ellen or Tyra to make up the lost ground.

Finally, I know it’s part of Lilly Pulitzer's branding, but the pastel-colored type on the website combined with mice-type sized font, made some pages hell for me to read.


恋愛 said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Popular posts from this blog

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…

50 Cent, Cause Marketer

Curtis Jackson, aka rapper 50 Cent visited the horn of Africa in September 2011 hosted by the United Nations and committed to provide 1 billion meals to the World Food Programme over the next five years, funded in part by several cause marketing efforts.

The Horn of Africa has a lot of problems right now, nonetheleast of which is that starvation there is rampant, long-term drought is endemic, and working institutions are few.

Since the UN's World Food Programme can manage to deliver a meal for about $0.10, Jackson has basically committed to donating $100 million (or 200 million 50 cent pieces). That's a very big number.

He gave his commitment a kick start with a donation of $350,000. Like him on Facebook, and when he reaches 1 million new likes, he’ll donate another $1 million.

50 Cent is also tying the sales of his Street King energy drink to the World Food Progamme (WFP). For every bottle sold, 50 Cent will donate one meal.

Street King competes with 5-Hour Energy Drink, a ca…

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…