Skip to main content

Getting NPO Logos Size Right in Cause Marketing Ads

I beat up Outdoor Research pretty badly in yesterday’s post for promoting its sponsorship of the nonprofit charity Leave No Trace so inconspicuously that it could scarcely be seen.

Already I’ve been getting blowback for being too sharp in my criticism. Others have asked, in effect, “alright Mr. Smart Guy, how should sponsors promote their cause relationships when the ad itself isn’t primarily about the cause?”

It’s easy to understand this sentiment. I suspect that Outdoor Research's advertising budget is modest. No one, least of all me, blames a small company for adding one of its long time causes… Leave No Trace… to its existing advertising. By and large its bigger companies... like Proctor & Gamble and Coke... with fat advertising budgets that feature only their chosen cause.

The effort at left from Pure Protein Bar manages to balance its ad with the logo of its preferred cause just fine. The ad is about making better food choices, not Multiple Sclerosis. But no one would look at this ad and have any problem seeing and understanding that Pure Protein also proudly sponsors the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

I found the ad in the Alden Keene Cause Marketing Database. It ran in Fitness Magazine in March 2009.

Like the Outdoor Research ad, there’s an attractive person representing the target market. Both have a product shot and the usual other elements of print advertising. But Pure Protein reproduces the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to about ¾” square in an ad that is about 10½” x 7¾”, or about 81.3 square inches.

Pure Protein’s ad is almost exactly half the size of Outdoor Research’s ad, but they reproduce the cause’s logo half again as big as Outdoor Research did in its ad.

I know of no formula that tells you how big an ancillary logo ought to be in an print ad. But like U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart said about another topic, “I know it when I see it.” Put simply, and maybe vaguely, the nonprofit's logos in such ads has to be big enough.

Pure Protein's use of the National MS logo is big enough, while Outdoor Research's use of the Leave No Trace logo was not.


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…