Skip to main content

Cause Marketing to Real Men

Can you cause market to real men? Do guys who wear plaid shirts and drive trucks to work respond to garden variety transactional cause marketing?

I know all the cause marketing surveys are scrupulous about including a 50:50 mix of women to men. And there’s no way to get to 88 percent approval ratings unless a good number of the men in the survey are saying that cause marketing works for them, too.

But let’s be honest, there’s no bottle cap campaigns from the beer companies for prostate cancer, even though the numbers of women diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States each year is almost exactly the same as the number of men diagnosed with prostate cancer.

For most of my time in cause marketing I’ve assumed that women are more responsive than men to cause marketing appeals. And the 2010 Cone Cause Evolution Study bears that out, sort of. Cone finds moms much more responsive to cause marketing than the population as a whole. More than the population as a whole, moms are more likely to switch brands, more likely to try a new brand, and more willing to buy a more expensive brand, if those brands are associated with a cause they care about.

Then I came across Bugle, the official organ of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, a wildlife conservation group like Ducks Unlimited.

Guys that hunt elk…and Sarah Palin notwithstanding, hunting is notably more male than female… are a butch bunch. They drive up into the mountains and camp. They don’t shower. They spend plenty of time around the campfire. Their beards get scruffy. They don’t shower. They drink a lot of beer and tell tall stories. They don’t shower. They stalk their prey. They call the elk (called ‘bugling’). They don’t shower. They shoot at the elk with a pretty substantial rifle. And if they hit it they have to field dress the beast and haul it out. A bull elk can weigh more than 700 pounds, so that’s no small feat. Most hunters eat their kill, too.

So I was a little surprised to find not one but two cause marketing campaigns advertised in the most recent issue of Bugle.

The first comes from Budweiser. Budweiser wholesalers raise money for Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and other conservation groups, which is matched by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

The second is a straightforward transactional cause marketing effort from Weaver Optics. Buy one of their rifle scopes and portion of the proceeds benefits the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

I suspect that to the degree that either effort is successful it’s because the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation generates a lot of affinity... not so different in it's own way from the affinity that builds between racers and Susan G. Komen during Cure Race for the Cure events. RMEF members actually get out in the field to do the hard work of habitat conservation and remediation, much of which is pick and shovel work.

Even real men love the things they serve. And that affinity is something cause marketers can appeal to.


Popular posts from this blog

Three Ways to Be Charitable

I’ve spent a big chunk of my career working with or for charities. Many of my dearest and ablest friends are in the charity ‘space.’ And the creativity and problem-solving coming out of the nonprofit sector has never been greater.  Although I’ve had numerous nonprofit clients over the last decade or so, I haven’t worked in a charity for about 12 years now, which gives me a certain distance. Distance lends perspective and consequently, I get a lot of people asking me which charities I recommend for donations of money or time. My usual answer is, “it depends.” “On what?” they respond. “On what you want from your charitable activities,” I reply. It sounds like a weaselly consultant kind of an answer, but bear with me for a moment. The English word charity comes from the Latin word caritas and means “from the heart,” implying a voluntary act. Caritas is the same root word for cherish. The Jews come at charity from a different direction. The Hebrew word that is usually rendered as charity is t…

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…

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…