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Buy One, Plant One Cause Marketing

Hollywood, California-based WeWOOD will plant a tree every time you purchase one of its wooden watches.

The tree-planting will be undertaken by the nonprofit American Forests under the banner of its Global ReLeaf program. American Forests has been around since 1885 and represents a savvy choice by WeWOOD for a charity partner. I’ve noted before that in cases where the charity is better known than the sponsor, the sponsor benefits most from the relationship.

WeWOOD watches are available in several styles and four different kinds of wood. The red-brown wood (as at left) is reclaimed from flooring material waste. All the watches are currently priced at $119 and available online.

WeWOOD’s approach is a fresh take on BOGO, buy one, give one, that has taken cause marketing by storm, and reminiscent of Proctor & Gamble’s buy one plant effort for its men’s fragrance brand HUGO.

WeWOOD could certainly borrow a page from the HUGO campaign and allow people to track where their tree is planted. It wood (sorry I couldn’t resist) give the campaign greater transparency and further connect the watch-purchaser with WeWOOD and Global ReLeaf.

Likewise, WeWOOD could draw on the example of TOMS Shoes and take watch buyers on tree planting excursions.

Because of its location in Lotus Land, WeWOOD could easily promote its products via celebrity gift bags at high-profile events. Think the Oscars, the Emmy’s, and the like.

The only thing about the campaign that give me pause is the donation amount. Global ReLeaf will plant a tree when your or I donate a $1, so the donation amount from WeWOOD is certainly no greater than that per watch.

I couldn’t find any evidence of that Global ReLeaf’s tree-planting efforts ever work this way, but what if instead of planting a $1 tree (which I presume is a sapling) WeWOOD’s donation enabled the planting of a tree that was several years old, and thereby perhaps better able to survive transplant shock, animals, insects, heat, cold, and all the things that threaten the life of a newly-planted tree?

[No doubt a forester or someone from American Forests will disabuse me of the idea that it’s ever better to plant more mature trees.]

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