Skip to main content

Salvation Army Kettle Drive Kickoff During the Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day Game

The Salvation Army USA, in conjunction with the Dallas Cowboys, Fox Sports, and the National Football League, kicked off its annual kettle drive with a performance by country music star Keith Urban during halftime of the Cowboys – New Orleans Saints game held yesterday, Thanksgiving Day 2010.

This is the fourteenth year the Salvation Army and the Cowboys have teamed up. Since 1997, the Salvation Army holiday kettle drive has generated $1.3 billion, $139 million last year alone.

I couldn’t find any actual footage yet of the performance, so you’re going to have to trust me for now. But the way the Salvation Army was integrated into the performance itself was more stilted than it should have been. The video footage at left is what we used to call a video news release (VNR) meant to promote the kettle drive kickoff.

Immediately before the Urban halftime concert we see footage of him leaving his travel bus parked in the bowels of Dallas Cowboys Stadium. As he walks the corridors toward the field entrance, he and his entourage pass by a series of factoids about the Salvation Army projected on the wall to Urban’s left. This was all plainly pre-taped.

The director cuts to Urban live just as he’s about to run on to the field. He passes through a phalanx of fans and Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, then trots to the 50-yard line where the stage was set. On the back of the stage on both sides, more cheerleaders are preset in what looked like nothing so much as open cages.

The Salvation Army logo was set stage left and right on the front of the stage deck. It could also be seen on the Cowboys ginormous TV screen that hangs in the center of the stadium.

Urban sang one song with no apparent reference to the Salvation Army. Then in the second number, the front of the stage, which was basically a ramp capable of showing video, began to air a series of images, apparently of Salvation Army volunteers and leaders that morphed into the logo.

There was a little more. The halftime guys gave the Salvation Army kettle launch a little context. We also saw a public service announcement (PSA) that Urban recorded encouraging people to donate using their phones. You can see that PSA in the VNR.

I don’t think the Cowboys and Fox did too little. I just think they emphasized the wrong stuff.

Stalin has been wrongly quoted as saying that the “death of millions of people is a statistic. But the death of one person is a tragedy.”

No matter. For my purposes the meaning of the quote is true. Statistics are boring and uninvolving. The stories of individuals are what move us.

The Salvation Army does so many things (and does them so well, I might add), that it’s far easier to communicate the statistics of its work than to communicate the import of it.

Somewhere amidst all that communications and marketing, the Salvation Army, Keith Urban, Fox and the Dallas Cowboys should have figured out a way to tell one full story of one person or one family that has a new lease on life thanks to the Salvation Army.

Finally, I hold the Salvation Army in such high regard that none of this should be taken as a reason not to support this fine organization. The Salvation Army in the United States is a national treasure. So when you hear the familiar kettle ringers, I recommend that you support the Salvation Army as generously as possible.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!
Hi:

Thanks for the kind words.

I basically post every weekday of the year.


Warm regards,
Paul

Popular posts from this blog

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…

Cause-Related Marketing Meets Microfinance

Kiva.org and Advanta.com Mix it Up

You’d have had to have been in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia the last year or so to have missed the run up of microfinance. Between 2004 and 2006 more than $4 billion of capital flowed into microfinance institutions. All told experts say the total loan microfinance loan portfolio may be as much as $12.5 billion. And of course the father of microfinance, Muhammad Yunus won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. Microfinance is now so respectable, so effective, (so profitable!) that it’s already enjoying its first global backlash.

Actually that first sentence is hyperbole. Because even in Ulaanbaatar… far from almost anywhere on the vast, frigid steppes of Mongolia… microfinance is thriving such that the earliest recipients of micro loans there are now complaining about taxes and government bureaucracy! And May 29-31, 2008 the Conference of Microfinance Institutions will convene in Ulaanbaatar, the eleventh such annual conference.
Now Advanta, a credit card issuer to small…

Cause Marketing Beer with BOGO, Brew One Give One

On Monday’s post I touched on the topic of telling people what your cause marketing campaign accomplished when completed. I’ve recommended this approach to clients as a way to keep open the lines of communication with customers and clients and to get extra value from the campaign.

In other words, you’ll want to hold back some of the promotion’s budget to continue to activate the effort until the very end.

But what if that really cuts across the grain in your organization? What if it’s just not in your corporate DNA to do anything but to frontload your cause marketing activation? Well, then, add the report back to the activation of your next cause marketing effort.

New Belgium Brewing of Ft. Collins, Colorado, said to be the seventh largest brewery in the United States, did just that with this ad in Sunset magazine. I found this ad in the Alden Keene Cause Marketing Database.

New Belgium donates $1 for every barrel it brews and sells. It’s a BOGO cause marketing effort, Buy One Give One. …