Skip to main content

Copy and Paste Cause Marketing

Like the look and feel of a webpage? Well copyright laws notwithstanding, nothing could be easier to steal. Open the webpage’s source code and there it all is.

From a distance it looks like Dannon Yogurt’s newish label campaign benefiting the National Breast Cancer Foundation opened the source code to Yoplait’s longstanding effort for Susan G. Komen for the Cure and just copied and pasted.

Both benefit breast cancer charities. The donation amount… $0.10 is the same. The pink ribbons on each are similar, as are the labels in question. The only real difference is that Dannon is redeemed via an online method and Yoplait requires you to mail the labels to a physical address.

It seems like a defensive measure on Dannon’s part. In one fell swoop, Dannon made Yoplait’s cause marketing effort slightly generic. Of course, that’s a two-edged sword because it made Dannon’s yogurt cause marketing slightly generic, too.

To continue the source code metaphor, there are webpage designers who take source code whole cloth from another website and paste it into their own, (sometimes for fraudulent purposes). But a webpage that copies the look of, say, is a pale imitation, because is more than the sum of its source code.

I’ve often written in this space suggesting that you my readers ought to “steal this idea” whatever the idea is.

What I mean is, take this idea that comes from Kroger or Microsoft or General Mills and figure out how it could work in your industry or with your charity, and then improve upon it. When most webpage developers look at another webpage’s source code it’s to see how that page is put together and then come up with something that is rather different, and hopefully better.

That’s not so dissimilar than artists like Roy Lichtenstein or Jasper Johns studying Dali’s ‘Persistence of Memory’ and coming to Pop Art. Dali and Johns and Lichtenstein all painted on canvas. But their sensibilities were not the same. And what we ended up with are two different kinds of art, even though you can see the thread that connects Johns and Lichtenstein and the other Pop Artists to Dali.

General Mills is a good example of this for cause marketing. It’s likely that when General Mills developed its Boxtops campaign that it borrowed heavily from Campbell’s much more senior label effort. But while General Mills is in the food business like Campbell’s, it’s not primarily in the soup business, although it has long owned Progresso. General Mills brought its own sensibility to its Boxtops for Education. It streamlined and improved upon Campbell’s approach, which was then a little clunky.

I think the cause marketing world would be richer if Dannon had chosen to be inspired by Yoplait’s label campaign, rather than to try and copy and paste it.

Happy Hanukkah!


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 and 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. …