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Showing posts from June, 2009

Exploiting the Faces of Need

A recent study, published in the Journal of Marketing Research, finds that children’s charities would receive greater donations if they depicted sad-looking children in their appeals.

Their working theory was that people ‘catch’ one another’s emotions…something that’s been shown again and again in many other studies… but which had never been applied to charitable appeals.

They tested their thesis in a series of experiments, including a behavioral test where they showed subjects randomly-selected charitable appeals and gave them money to give.

In the other tests researchers tried to zero in on the emotional state of the test subjects.

The paper, called ‘The Face of Need,’ was authored by Professor Debora Small of The Wharton School and Nicole Verrochi, a PhD candidate, who openly wonder why charities don’t use sad faces of children more often.

I’ve got a few answers.
It’s potentially exploitive. For years some charities have been willing to say, in effect, ‘donate or this child will die.’ It…

Orkin's Fight the Bite is Cause Marketing that Fits the Cause and the Sponsor

Research and experience demonstrate that cause marketing works best when customers can easily see and understand a logical fit between the company and the cause.

Too often when I tell audiences this, I struggle to find good examples, although I can always think of really bad examples.

Orkin’s Fight the Bite is a good example.

When you buy Orkin’s mosquito service, the pest control franchise will make a $10 donation to Nothing But Nets. One hundred percent of each $10 donation will go to purchase and distribute insecticide treated mosquito nets to people in Africa.

In 2008 Fight the Bite generated $135,000. Orkin has guaranteed a minimum of $150,000 in 2009. Malaria, which is transmitted by mosquitoes, infects 350-500 million people each year, and more than 1 million people die each year from the scourge. Ninety percent of deaths due to malaria happen in Africa, with a disproportionate share of the deaths occurring among young children. Estimates put the loss of GDP in Africa due to malari…

Help Me Name the New Cause Marketing Index

Kind Readers:

On Monday, June 15, the NASDAQ OMX Group Inc. stock exchange announced that it had developed a new index of stocks meant to track corporate sustainability performance.

Called the 'The NASDAQ OMX CRD Global Sustainability 50 Index' (TNOCGS50I), the index tracks the triple-bottom line of 50 global companies.

I read this and thought: I need to develop a stock index of companies that do cause marketing.

But first I need a name.

So you'll notice at the top of the column to the right a poll to help name the cause marketing index of stocks.

I've listed basically the first four ideas that came to me:
The first is a play on the standard-bearer of stock indexes, the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The DJIA... aka 'the Dow'... is named for two of the founders of the Wall Street Journal; Charles Dow and Edward Jones. Since my name is Paul Jones the first option is a sort of guerilla marketing play on the DJIA, only nicknamed 'the Paul.'The second is a play on …

Professor Eikenberry, I Respectfully Disagree

A few years back a colleague and I wangled a trip to northern Italy to speak on the topic of cause marketing. One of the other presenters was an American like us, but all of the attendees were European, predominantly Italian. We were there preaching the big, bold cause marketing of the type practiced at Children’s Miracle Network and it plainly made a few of the attendees uncomfortable. Some openly told us that they found the practice gauche.

We finished our presentation with some Q&A, which lasted past our appointed time. So we took the discussion into the hallway. I remember in particular one fellow from Rome. He was the executive director of a children’s charity that he felt had potential popular appeal but which had fallen out of favor politically and had lost funding. Domestic charities in Italy and much of continental Europe are funded directly by local and national governments. He needed a new fundraising approach that could make up for some of the funding that was no longer…

Prostate Cancer Foundation Bunts a Blooper Into the Infield

In baseball, a bunt is a small hit that goes no farther than the infield.

And bunt is what the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) did with this ad that I’ve seen recently in Newsweek and BusinessWeek magazines.

The ad’s call to action is that you go online and pledge “as little as” $1 for each home run hit during Major League Baseball play between Thursday, June 11 and Father’s Day, a holiday celebrating fathers that falls on Sunday June 21 this year.

Why? Well 186,500 men in the United States are stricken with prostate cancer each year. And, “in the time it takes to play nine innings” nine men die of the disease, about 30,000 men a year.

The PCF estimates that 143 home runs are likely to be hit over the 11-day period between June 11 and June 21. But while the body copy says you can pledge as little as $1 per home run, in fact, you can pledge as little as $0.25 cents.

While these kinds of scoring-linked promotions are common enough, they’re usually set up so that a sponsor makes a donation w…