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How Not to Design Your Own Cause Marketing Ad

Some people shouldn’t be allowed to do their own cause marketing advertising.

That’s what I thought after seeing this ad from the local franchisees for Window World, Doug and Kathy Llewellyn.

On the left half of the ad, about two-thirds of the way down are not one but three logos for causes: Window World Cares, the franchisor’s foundation, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and Veterans Airlift Command.

Three causes is probably two too many for their customers and prospects to understand and follow. Right now Window World Cares primarily supports St. Jude and Veterans Airlift Command. Which begs the question, if the other two are already on there, why put the WWC logo there as well?

But ignore all that for a moment and put yourself in the mindset of a Window World franchisee like the Llewellyns. If you were them and you still wanted to support multiple causes, wouldn’t want to know which cause pulls the best?

Print ads like this would allow them to do just that. This ad comes from a shopper-style magazine that is 32 pages of ads. The shopper comes in several different editions. So Window World Utah could easily test which charity performs the best in a head-to-head competition.

Worse, from my perspective as a cause marketer, the ad has not just the cause marketing, but also a testimonial from radio talk show host Dave Ramsey, seals from Good Housekeeping and Energy Star, and no less than two phone numbers, four URLS and six dollar-signs. Whew!

In this ad the franchise throws everything against the wall to see what sticks. Trouble is, when you throw the whole pot of spaghetti…water and all… against the wall, almost none of it is going to stick!


Marcelle Green said…
The real issue here, I think, is that the cause-related marketing is an add-on to a boring price-product retail ad. The best cause marketing makes the cause the star. The second best cause marketing makes the cause a prominent benefit: "and with every order we'll donate $XX to YY."
Hi Marcelle:

Dead on right.

Thanks for your comment.

Warm regards,

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