Injecting Emotion into Your Cause Marketing

Successful cause marketing appeals not only to your head, but to your heart as well.

The head part comes easier for me and probably for many of you as well. So how do you inject heart into a cause marketing campaign?

Ulta’s answer is to ask people to write their breast cancer stories in a letter and then post them in the front windows of their stores.

They call it 'Windows of Love.'

Ulta supports The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Ulta is the largest discount cosmetics and fragrance retailer in the United States with more than 330 stores in some 38 States.

There’s an Ulta store that I can almost coast down to from my house, so I went down there to check it out.

The store devoted the better part of three of its four windows to the promotion. One of the window displays explained the promotion and the other two contained actual letters.

The letters were unformatted. That is, so near as I could tell they were posted exactly as they were submitted. The challenge was that some of the letters appeared to be multi-page and it was sometimes tricky figuring out where some of the letters started and ended.

Some letters contained names, some did not. In my cursory look I didn’t see any place information like city and State. Some of the letters appeared to have been seeded by Ulta employees. Some of the letters were about the person who had written the letter and some were about someone they knew and loved. But there were no pictures.

That last one is a big problem in my opinion.

Nothing helps me connect with someone emotionally like the ability to see the person who’s telling me their story. I know that there are privacy challenges, but I don’t think they’re insurmountable.

And imagine how much more personally affecting the window display would have been if the people in the window not only included their picture, but were, in fact, from my area or at least my own State.

Finally, when you look at the display from the sidewalk it’s just one big patch of gray. While color photos of the letter writers would help in this regard too, the letters themselves need to be on colored paper at least.

And wouldn’t it be cool if the letters, when looked upon from afar, painted an image of the iconic pink ribbon that symbolizes breast cancer?

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