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Pink Cause Marketing On the Cutting Edge

Cause marketing is pretty easy to understand. Until it isn’t. From Alden Keene’s voluminous cause marketing database are two breast cancer campaigns that cut against the grain of expectations.

The campaigns in question are both transactional cause marketing, but they aren’t for jewelry or makeup or kitchen goods or clothing, or even pink buckets of KFC chicken, although that one was out there, too.

Instead they’re for shooting gear and a non-kitchen knife.

From the November 2009 issue of Shooting Times is this short editorial piece on an offering from Champion, which makes eye and ear protection for shooters. In 2009 when you bought special pink ammo pouches, shooting glasses or electronic earmuffs Champion donated a portion of the proceeds to Breast Cancer Network of Strength.

Perhaps 20 million women own firearms in the United States. That’s a substantial market, so it’s not surprising that the pink ribbon can be found there. What is surprising to me is that they found a willing nonprofit partner.

I grew up in Arizona, took the shooter safety course as a Boy Scout and spent many a Saturday morning plinking at cans out in the desert. But had Champion come to me, I’m not sure who I would have recommended as a potential partner.

That’s because in my experience many people in the nonprofit space think of shooting and hunting as decidedly retrograde activities.

The second campaign… also from 2009… is not quite as hard to track.

When you bought the pink beribboned Classic SD, which includes a knife blade, nail file, scissors, tweezers and toothpick, Victorinox would donate $1 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. In addition, Victorinox donated 10% of the retail price of the SD’s sister watch, the pink ribbon Alliance Sport to Komen.

No doubt this was an easier sell to Komen. The Classic SD isn’t exactly a shiv. The blade is long enough to score an orange for peeling, but not much longer than that. My wife has an SD on her key ring and probably uses the little scissors more than anything else. But this is still cause marketing for a non-kitchen knife.

If you need evidence that cause marketing has crossed basically every consumer segment, here it is.

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