Skip to main content

Push and Pull in Cause Marketing

In the early days of the practice the cause marketing you were most likely to see involved consumer packaged goods with donations predicated on coupon redemption.

Cause marketing has gone 100 different directions in the since and CPG promotions no longer dominate the cause marketing landscape. Nonetheless I see at least four lessons for today’s cause marketers from Procter & Gamble’s current CPG promotion at the left for Special Olympics.

The first is longevity. P&G and Special Olympics have a 28-year relationship. I have no inside knowledge of this partnership, but I’d bet that in those three decades there’s been dozens of personnel changes. I’ll bet there’s been strong personal relationships and weak ones and plenty that fell in between. I’ll bet either party has thought about walking away from the partnership. What P&G and Special Olympics have is something like a long and happy marriage that is stronger in part because there’s been some push and pull between the partners.

The second lesson is related and it has to do with familiarity. Procter & Gamble genuinely understands Special Olympics. Year-in year-out the Special Olympics FSI naturally features the Special Olympians. But this one also has a ‘Thanks Mom,’ theme that recognizes that before anybody else hugs one of the Special Olympians moms have played their own heroic part. Partners that have only been together for a few years probably don’t know enough about each other to take this approach.

The third lesson is that P&G doesn’t go cheap on the production elements of the promotion. If you look closely at the FSI it becomes plain that all the photographs were taken for the promotion. There’s not a stock photo in sight. The result is a visual authenticity missing from a lot of cause marketing advertising these days.

The fourth lesson… and probably the most important… is that while P&G is using the FSI to push product through the channel, they also enlist their retailer partners to pull from their end. At left is a Shopco circular in the same newspaper. All the items on this page are also in P&G FSI and the copy and photographs on this page refer back to the P&G FSI.

Better still, aside from the picture of the FSI cover, none of the pictures are also in the brandSAVER FSI. In other words, P&G provided Shopko with other pictures from the FSI photo shoot, allowing it bask in the light of the halo provided by Special Olympics.

Comments

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…

Five Steps To Nurture a 30-Year Cause Marketing Relationship

Last Monday, July 22, 2013, March of Dimes released the annual results of its campaign with Kmart... now in its thirtieth year... and thereby begged the question, what does it takes to have a multi-decade cause marketing relationship between a cause and a sponsor?

In the most recent year, Kmart,the discount retailer, donated $7.4 million to the March of Dimes, bringing the 30-year total to nearly $114 million. March of Dimes works to improve the health of mothers and babies.

Too many cause marketing relationships, in my estimation, resemble speed-dating more than long-term marriage. There can be good reasons for short-term cause marketing relationships. But most causes and sponsors benefit more from long-term marriages than short-term hookups, the main benefit being continuity. Cause marketing trades on the trust that people, usually consumers, put in the cause and the sponsor. The longer the relationship lasts the more trust is evidenced.

There's also a sponsor finding cost that…