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Showing posts from February, 2010

My Blue Sky Audit From Rocky Mountain Power

In December 2008 I signed up with 'Blue Sky,' a wind energy offsets program from my electric utility, so as to help mitigate the carbon footprint of the Cause Marketing blog.

Earlier this month I got the first full-year statement from Rocky Mountain Power, my electric utility, which you can see on the left.

The statement explains how many offsets I bought and totes up the total number of kilowatts purchased by my fellow customers and I.

Better still, they give my numbers some real shape and meaning. My 2009 Blue Sky purchase helped avoid the release of nearly 3,000 pounds of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of NOT driving nearly 3,000 miles in the car.

But Rocky Mountain Power nonetheless stumbles with this statement. The paper it was printed on should have been recycled!

I'll Be in Wash D,C, and Available for Meetings Feb 24 and 25

Dear Friends:

I'll be in Washington, D.C. next week for business and have some availability for meetings on Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 24 and 25.

Want to talk cause marketing, marketing, corporate social responsibility, fundraising, nonprofit innovation, or the like? Or just catch up?

So would I.

Email me at aldenkeene[@]gmail[dot]com and suggest a meeting.

Warm regards,

Cause Marketing to Children

The other day a new friend asked, “Is there such a thing as cause marketing targeted at children?”

Of course cause marketing to kids would be a conundrum. While 4 to12-year-olds influence at least $128 billion in household spending, perhaps 5 percent of that total is money kids can actually spend on their own.

And influence is a fuzzy notion. In my household, for instance, my kids have never influenced me to buy the sugary cereals whose ads run in hot rotation on Nick Jr., although I might ask them whether they prefer Oreos or Pepperidge Farm cookies.

But I couldn’t think of any cause marketing targeted at children so I promised to consult Alden Keene’s voluminous database of cause marketing ads.

I was slightly surprised to find the example above, which comes from the September 2007 SI Kids magazine.

Above is the third page of a three-page ad for retailer JC Penney. The first two pages are in a double-truck configuration and feature NFL player and all-around good guy Michael Strahan, who …

Cause Marketing… um… Magic

After a show in Palm Beach Florida in April 2006, David Copperfield and two companions were mugged at gunpoint by three assailants who asked for the magician’s wallet. Instead, Copperfield performed a sleight of hand, palming his wallet, phone and passport while turning out his pockets to suggest that he didn’t have anything to steal.

We have something like a sleight of hand going on with this ad for Clorox Bleach. It looks like cause marketing, with a website, something that looks like a nonprofit logo, and a mission to stop an eradicable tree disease, but in fact, there’s no cause marketing here.

This ad is from the Dec-Jan. 2009 issue of Parenting magazine and it’s the first of three consecutive pages of ads for Clorox Bleach. The headline reads: “Saving Trees Big and Small: Clorox Regular Bleach.

The art shows an ornament hanging from an evergreen branch. The body copy suggests that using Clorox Bleach to kill bacteria in water will prolong the life of live Christmas trees.


Why Doesn't Your Cause Marketing Generate as Much Money as the Super Bowl?

An open letter to my friends in the nonprofit world.

Dear Nonprofit Marketer:

The Super Bowl was yesterday. It attracted the largest TV audience for any TV show ever in the United States with 106.5 million viewers. The Winter Olympics are a few days away. The World Cup is about 4 months from now. So I'm opening up Peabody's Way Back Machine to a post I wrote in 2007 that asks, 'why doesn't your cause generate as much money as any of those sports properties?'

Short answer; it's a failure of imagination.

The September 27, 2007 Forbes listed the value of the world’s top sponsored sports events, by the amount of money they generate per day. They are:

1. Super Bowl… $336 million
2. Summer Olympics…$176 million
3. Fifa World Cup…$103 million
4. NCAA Men’s Final Four…$90 million
5. Winter Olympics…$82 million
6. Rose Bowl…$72 million
7. MLB World Series…$61 million
8. Kentucky Derby…$59 million
9. NBA Finals…$58 million

I notice that your nonprofit isn’t on the list. Indeed, no no…

Instant-On Cause Marketing

One of the remarkable things about the Internet is the way it enables you to turn on a cause marketing campaign in about an hour.

Old style cause marketing relied on the old media, which is a little like an electric stove. Turn it on and after a while it’s hot.

By contrast, cause marketing on the Internet is like a gas stove. Turn the dial and the heat is on.

Short case in point. The small website for artists called which is basically a blog... decided to do something for Haiti relief. So they petitioned artists with a pitch. We’ll carve out a space for your art on a special page of Booooooom if you’ll donate proceeds from the sale of your art to Haiti.

And boom, just like that the page was up.

(The piece above is called ‘The Healer’ by Betsy Walton.)

Ignore the problems this effort has in terms of transparency (Where does the money go? How much does ‘a portion of the proceeds’ mean?) and instead marvel at how fast the Internet makes it possible for even small media outlets…

Cause Marketing Wiki

For about eight years now I’ve been collecting all the cause marketing I come across in a database, mainly expressed as advertising creative.

Alden Keene and Associates now has a database of more than 1,500 cause marketing examples.

The problem, of course, is that while I probably see more cause marketing than the average person on the street, even with RSS feeds and Google Alerts, I almost certainly miss more than I see.

Moreover, since I'm in North America and only speak/read English, no doubt there's much more cause marketing that I wouldn't even recognize as such.

So I propose to set up a Wiki of examples of cause marketing that would be open to everyone. Could be links, could be images or descriptions, or some combination thereof.

If this sounds like something you’d like to participate in please email me at aldenkeene [at] gmail [dot] com.