Skip to main content

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 malaria at 1.3 percent.

Children who survive a bout with malaria are at greater risk of learning impairment and brain damage. University of Minnesota researchers found that one strain of the disease… cerebral malaria… causes cognitive impairment in one in four survivors.

While there are malaria treatments, there is not yet a vaccine. And African strains of malaria are increasingly resistance to drug treatments. For now the most successful strategy is to spray the insides of home walls with insecticide and ensure that everyone at risk sleeps under an insecticide-treated net. Combined those two measures are about 90 percent effective at stopping malaria in the home in Africa.

Malaria has long since been eradicated in the United States and Europe and much or Asia. But mosquitoes in the United States do carry the West Nile Virus, which sickens tens of thousands but kills relatively few compared to malaria.

Orkin’s pitch is that by ordering up its mosquito service you thereby eliminate the threat of West Nile in your yard and help preserve lives in Africa. And that’s not an exaggerated or inflated claim.

There’s plenty to like about this campaign. The logic of the campaign is persuasive and the relationship between Orkin and the net campaign is clear. It also has the appeal of helping to save the lives of young children. And, as I’ve pointed out before, in the developed world children are the universal cause.

If anything, Orkin undersells the fact that malaria kills many more children than adults. In Africa, 90 percent of those who fall victim to malaria are children. The lives the nets are most likely to save therefore are those of young children, and there’s no reason not to make that clear visually and in the text.

Finally, it would be a disservice not to mention Orkin’s partner Nothing But Nets. Nothing But Nets is a grassroots effort run under the auspices of the United Nations that had its start when sportswriter Rick Reilly wrote about malaria in Africa in a May 2006 issue of Sports Illustrated. In the time since some 2.7 million nets have been purchased for distribution in Africa.

Tip of the hat to Kate L for suggesting this post.


great post! keep up the good work!
olivia said…
Good post. Thanks for sharing the success stories. $10 donation per purchase seems sizable. Do you know what percent of the purchase cost this represents?

Thanks. Look forward to reading more.
Hi Olivia:

Thanks for the comments.

I don't know what Orkin charges for the service or what percentage of the purchase price $10 represents.

I drilled down on their website a little and all I saw was a phone number.

Warm regards,
laptop drivers said…
I just want to say - you have a beautiful and inspiring blog. Keep up the work....keep up the journey!
Be well,


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…