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Showing posts from March, 2010

Dove’s Cause Marketing of Self Esteem, Part I

I have rather self-conscientiously avoided reviewing any cause marketing for Dove’s Self Esteem Fund.

I had several ostensible reasons for avoiding it. The campaign has won all kinds of awards and the respect of its peers, so it didn’t need even the tiniest amount of attention I could bring it. And I found the marketing of it to be a little disjointed.

But the main reason was that I didn’t understand the intellectual basis for self-esteem, which struck me as dogmatic.

I’ve known plenty of people… women and men both, but probably more men than women… who seemed to esteem themselves very highly, but were absolute terrors to deal with. Often as not what they needed most, it seemed to me, was strong dose of humility.

A couple of things have changed.

First off, my daughters are getting older and as they mature it seems like society and culture grinds at girls in a way it didn’t me as a boy of their age.

Second, I have come to admire the work of Eric Hoffer, an autodidact who persuasively tackled…

Cause Marketing and National Television Advertising

It's rare to see national television ads for cause marketing.

But since January I count three:
Disney Parks' efforts to encourage volunteerism, utilizing the Muppets.Outback Steakhouse's campaign for Operation Homefront.American Express's ad with Yvon Chouinard on behalf of their Member's Project campaign.Of the three, I appreciate Disney's ads (there are several versions) the most because they feature an emotion aside from earnestness.

But I'd love to get your feedback. So I've set up a poll in the column to the immediate right.

Please follow the links to view the ads and vote for the one you prefer.

The poll closes in a month.

Use Lemon Windex at Your Next Gala, Raise More Money?

Professors at Brigham Young University, Toronto University, and Northwestern University conducted a simple experiment and found that a room scented with Lemon Windex made test subjects more likely to volunteer for a charity and share more cash with partners in a trust-based exercise.

Read their paper here.

For charitable fundraisers I think it's worth your own test. And it wouldn't be terribly difficult.

If you do multiple similar events in a year, try one with the room scented with lemon and one unscented as a control and compare the results both in terms of dollars raised and volunteers recruited.

Or you could use last year's event as the control, although it wouldn't be as precise.

Likewise, event-based cause marketers could scent their events with lemon.

Lemony candles oughta do the trick.

Cause Marketing With Trade Groups

It’s not clear to me that this is a trend, but I’ve seen my first cause marketing campaign with a trade group.

The campaign is a tree planting effort from Odwalla, the juice company, and the trade group called the National Association of State Park Directors.

It launches in May.

In the United States, a trade group or trade association is a probably a nonprofit (although not necessarily a charity) with a mission to further the interests of a particular industry.

The United States has not only 58 magnificent National Parks (along with more than 300 other ‘units’ managed by the National Park Service)… but it is also home to another 6,000 park units, managed by the individual states.

(Among them the stunning Goblin Valley State Park, here in my home state of Utah).

The directors of those state park systems can join the National Association of State Park Directors.

Beginning in May, Brandweekreports, Odwalla will launch a promotion meant to plant $200,000 worth of trees in those state parks.

I hav…

Cause Marketing 201

The 2010 Cone Nonprofit Marketing Trend Tracker has attracted a fair amount of attention, especially in the social media.

But almost none of the blog or Facebook posts, or Tweets got much beyond the headline in Cone's release, which reads: "More than Three-Quarters of Americans say a Nonprofit-Corporate Partnership Makes a Cause Stand Out."

This latest study confirms and... to a degree... builds on Cone's studies over the last 15-20 years. But it's Cause Marketing 101.

Cause Marketing 201 is a couple of paragraphs down in the body of the release. The Cone study also found that 75 percent of Americans "Want to hear about the results of corporate/nonprofit partnerships."

Few cause marketers, corporate or nonprofit, get this right. But it couldn't be more vital to giving successful cause marketing the transparency it requires.

People want to know that progress is being made. Cone's release says this means that people want to know about "the positiv…

Death of a Cause Marketing Superstar

RIP Merlin Olsen

Merlin Olsen, a 14-time NFL Pro Bowl selection, actor and philanthropist died Thursday after a battle with mesothelioma. He was 69.

I knew Merlin through my years at the Children’s Miracle Network, with which he was intimately connected from its founding in 1983.

I'll leave it to others to memorialize his astonishing football career, or his careers as an actor and broadcaster. Instead I'll address Merlin as I knew him.

For many years it was my pleasure to put words into Merlin’s mouth.

It was a pleasure because in addition to all the other wonderful things people have said about him, Merlin was the consummate professional.

It was a point of pride with him that he could read any voiceover script you gave him and get a perfect read in one take. Usually he did.

I remember once that Merlin did the voiceover work for a particular ad. Circumstances were such that about 3 months passed by before we cut the ad together. In the meantime something had changed necessitating a c…
Faithful readers.

Thursday's post on Scotties tissue (on the left is a recent free-standing insert [FSI]) has generated a fair amount of back-channel conversation.

The following comes from Jeff Atlas, one of the pioneers of cause marketing. I post his remarks with his permission.
Your recent post about Scotties led me to do a little bit of investigating.

I remember when Weyerhaeuser advertised itself as "The Tree Growing Company."

So, I wondered why they had dropped (or perhaps "felled") that name.

Here's the story from the ad/pr company that Weyerhaeuser used:

"Political turbulence on a number of issues surrounded Weyerhaeuser Company in the 1990's. Perceptions about clear cutting, log exports, old growth logging, the endangered spotted owl and stewardship of natural resources were conspiring to undercut the reputation of the industry in general and Weyerhaeuser in particular. There was a real danger that this situation could lead to new and costly gover…

Cause Marketing, Sans the Cause

Imagine that you're Nucor, the steel manufacturer that makes steel by recycling old steel, and you form a new relationship with Union Pacific to recycle its old track and replace it with newly reforged Nucor steel track.

Or, imagine that you 're a vertically-integrated chocolate company... like Mars... and you learn that cacao trees grow better under a canopy of taller trees. So you plant taller jungle trees over your cacao trees so that they yield more beans per tree.

If you were Nucor or Mars practicing that kind of forward 'environmental' thinking you'd probably want to crow about that wouldn't you?

[Cue the sarcastic smirk].

In effect, that's what tissue maker Irving Tissue, Inc., the maker of Scotties Tissue, is doing with its "Renewable Forest Project."

Running in ads (this one was in the March issue of Moremagazine) and Free-Standing Inserts (FSIs), Scotties says that it "will plant three seedlings in the spring and summer for very one tree…

What's Your Cause Marketing Schema?

One of the defining characteristics of many of the very best cause marketers is that they have a basic cause marketing schema that can be modified and used again and again in multiple contexts.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure, for instance, does walks and runs very well. They’re very good at branded products, too.

Proctor & Gamble’s ‘Buy One, Give One’ approach to cause marketing is well-honed across that behemoth company’s many divisions.

St. Jude’s radiothon... Country Cares for Kids... is terrific example of that fundraising approach. In addition, St. Jude is exceptional at all the back-office elements of cause marketing campaigns, much the way that Wal-Mart excels at logistics.

Children’s Miracle Network raises tens of millions a year using their Miracle Balloon paper icon, which they can customize for almost any retail setting.

Such schema’s form the backbone of the cause marketing efforts for those entities.

For charities the power of having a basic cause marketing schema is that the…