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Showing posts from July, 2009

The Donation Amount in Transactional Cause Marketing

One question I am frequently asked is: "just what is the best amount to set the donation at in transactional cause marketing?" What percentage should the donation be in cause marketing?
As a rule of thumb, academic studies have found that more is more when it comes to setting the amount. That is, the greater the donation the better the sales boost. But that’s not terribly helpful in this age when every Baby Boomer knows the exact number of his good and bad cholesterol.readings. People want a tidy little percentage.
But that’s fraught with problems for some sponsors. If you set the number very high, doesn’t that suggest that your prices are too lofty?
For, an online gift store, that number is 10 percent. When you make purchases totaling $100 or more, after 7 days will send 10 percent of the total to you as a gift card from, which you can then donate to the your charity of choice. The time lag is to allow for returns.

I Am The World’s (Second) Most Interesting Man…

…which explains why the World Food Programme changed their ad campaign to include color images.

In June 2008 I flayed the World Food Programme’s ad that depicted Drew Barrymore feeding hungry African kids. The photograph was in black and white save only a small red cup.

Here’s what I wrote then:
I can see it now. In the wake of a string of natural disasters and skyrocketing food prices in the Developing World, management at UN World Food Programme (WFP) decide to commence some serious marketing. So they start taking meetings with fancy ad agencies.

Here’s how the successful meeting went:

The senior manager at the agency turned on the charm and created a ‘reality distortion field’ before turning the time over to the creative director, who immediately started to weave a persuasive narrative. “We’ll put actresses like Rachel Weisz and Drew Barrymore in PSAs, in print ads and on Oprah. Imagine stark, beautifully-shot images of Drew feeding darling doe-eyed kids in Kenya in haunting black and w…

Kelly Ripa is Atop the Celebrity Cause Marketing Heap

You can’t swing a corded mouse online without running into the daytime double-threat actress/talk show host Kelly Ripa and her work on behalf of the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.

I get, it seems like, weekly email notices from Electrolux telling me to visit the ‘Lemonade Stands,’ of OCRF supporters. The Lemonade Stands are the charity part of a broader Kelly Ripa-powered promotion for Electrolux curiously called ‘Kelly Confidential.’

The Stands represent an intriguing variation on virtual paper icons for MDA that I’ve profiled before. To support the stands you’re asked to donate amounts from $1 (the default) to $50. The donations are processed through Paypal.

When you open a stand, Electrolux will donate the first $1. There's also a win a refrigerator contest element when you open a stand. Electrolux will donate up to a total maximum of $15,000 for the lemonade campaign. That is, just the first 15,000 stands get the $1 donation. Electrolux’s total pledge to OCRF is $500,000.

The campa…

Batting Your Eyelashes at Prescription Drug Cause Marketing

I’m a little chary about making sweeping pronouncements, but I believe I've just seen the first cause marketing promotion in the U.S. involving a prescription drug.

The drug is from Allergan and it’s called Latisse, “the first and only FDA-approved prescription treatment for inadequate or not enough eyelashes.” The medical name for this condition is hypotrichosis.

Latisse is lifestyle drug the way Viagra or Propecia are. That is, no one’s going to die (except, perhaps, of embarrassment) if their erectile dysfunction or male pattern baldness or thin eyelashes go untreated.

Which means the positioning for a product like Latisse is a little tricky. Allergan could have gone with the sexy route as with Viagra or Cialis and showed lovely women batting their new longer, thicker, darker eyelashes. But I’ll bet that approach didn’t test well with women.

(I’m reminded of a joke about the Cialis ads from a comedian whose name I can’t recall. He said, “Hey if my erection lasts longer than 3 hours…

Campbell's Rebrands Labels for Education

Following General Mills’ lead, Campbell’s Labels for Education is rebranding so as to be more appealing to would-be partners.

“The logo was very heavily Campbell-branded,” Mike Salzberg, president, Campbell Sales, told Brandweek. “We’ve never gone outside as far as sharing it or getting partners. But now we believe there is an opportunity for partnerships, starting with the one we formed with the Grammy Foundation.”

(The logo on the left is the old one. When I get the new one I'll share it).

With this new ‘open source cause marketing’ approach Campbell is doubling down in the bad economy. “In a troubled economy, being able to collect and win any free stuff in places where they’re taking things away [works],” says Salzberg.

Now in its 36th year, Labels for Education has generated more than $110 million in goods and supplies for the nation’s schools. About 75 percent of the nation’s schools participate in Labels for Education.

Campbell’s renewed effort underscores something I’ve written …