Skip to main content

More Faux Cause Marketing

You ever go to a fancy gala and read the program with all the awkward sponsor announcements in the back?
You know: “The Investment Counselors at Second Fidelity and Trust Congratulate Sumner Redstone as the First Children’s 2010 Father of the Year and Wish Him Every Success!”
That’s kind of what’s at work in this ad from the inflight magazine called Delta Sky.

The magazine had a special feature on Pittsburgh and in that feature was this ad from Bayer, which has its North American headquarters there. On June 5, Pittsburgh hosted the United Nation’s event World Environment Day, and Bayer and its foundation, along with other Pittsburgh corporate mainstays like Alcoa and Heinz, were among the sponsors.

But look at the visual. There’s a shirtless boy gratefully drinking clean water straight from the spigot, a spigot which has that fat, ragged-looking weld that suggests ‘developing world.’ It’s a really splendid picture.

When I saw it, that visual told me that Bayer was doing some kind of clean water campaign in the developing world. Cool! I thought. Although I couldn’t quite locate the positive connection between Bayer and clean water.

And then I read the body copy, which reads in part:
“In a rapidly growing world population, safe drinking water is becoming more scarce. Protecting this valuable resource is a long-time commitment for Bayer. One that we continue to grow at our North American headquarters in Pittsburgh — a city that has revitalized its three rivers to ensure a cleaner, more sustainable future.”
There’s more, but it doesn’t get any better. But the person at fault, in my view, isn’t the copywriter, it’s the art director. This looks like a cause marketing ad because of the visual. It’s not. It’s a self-conscious congratulations ad to the city of Pittsburgh. One in which the picture’s telling a story that isn’t really true.

A pity.


Popular posts from this blog

Profile of Cause Marketing Veteran Joe Lake

Blogger's Note: What follows is a profile and interview I wrote of Children's Miracle Network co-founder Joe Lake, who was recently installed as the CEO of the Starfish Television Network. This originally appeared in the Salt Lake Enterprise on Monday, May 11.

Lining the walls of the office of Joe Lake, the new CEO of the Starfish Television Network, a 501(c) (3) public charity and television network founded in 2006 and headquartered in Midvale, are pictures of the many celebrities he has worked with.

There are pictures of Joe with Goldie Hawn, Sidney Poitier, Jeff Bridges, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Rob Lowe and Walter Cronkite, and affectionately-autographed publicity stills from Bob Hope and Rich Little.

It’s something you’d expect in the office of a Hollywood agent, or at a celebrity hangout in Manhattan, or Chicago or Vegas. But the Starfish Television Network, whose mission is to tell the stories of nation’s nonprofits in a way that educates, entertains and inspires its audi…

Unconventional Metrics of Cause Marketing Power

The printed edition of Fortune Magazine runs a regular feature called ‘My Metric’ wherein business leaders identify informal but telling measures of current economic activity.

In the January 17, 2011 Michael Glimcher, CEO of Glimcher Realty Trust cited as his metric an increased number of black cars on the streets of New York City as a sign of the U.S. economy’s (still pending?) resurgence.

That got me thinking, what unconventional metrics evidence the power of certain cause marketing efforts?

One immediately leapt to mind, although only General Mills, which makes Yoplait yogurt in the U.S., can measure it.

The Yoplait lid at left... which I purchased in December 2010... can NOT be redeemed for a $0.10 donation to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Instead it promotes Yoplait’s sponsorship of Komen’s Race for the Cure events, which are numerous.

But I’d bet you a six-pack of Yoplait Greek Honey Vanilla that people nonetheless still send in some number of the lids above in an attempt to redeem th…

Top Eight Cause-Related Marketing Campaigns of 2007

Yeah, You Read it Right. It's a Top 8 List.

More cause-related marketing campaigns are unveiled every day across the world than I review in a year at the cause-related marketing blog. And, frankly, I don’t see very many campaigns from outside North America. So I won’t pretend that my annual list of the top cause-related marketing campaigns is exhaustive.

But, like any other self-respecting blogger, I won’t let my superficial purview stop me from drawing my own tortured conclusions!

So… cue the drumroll (and the dismissive snickers)… without further ado, here is my list of the eight best cause-related marketing campaigns of 2007.

My list of the worst cause-related marketing campaigns of 2007 follows on Thursday.

Chilis and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
I was delighted by the scope of Chilis’ campaign for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. As you walked in you saw the servers adorned in black co-branded shirts. Other elements included message points on the Chilis beverage coas…