Buy One, Give One, Get One Cause Marketing

The Luxury Collection Hotels and Resorts, a unit of Starwood Hotels and Resorts, is offering travelers the classic deal you can’t refuse benefiting UNICEF.

When you book and complete a 2, 3 or 4-day stay before March 30, 2011 at one of their luxe properties you’ll not only get one or two free night stays, but $1 will be donated to UNICEF in support of malaria prevention efforts in Africa and polio, TB and measles immunizations worldwide.

It’s a logical extension of Buy One, Give One (BOGO). Only this one could be called Buy One, Give One, Get One (BOGOGO).

The ad at the left is from November 2009. I found it in the Alden Keene Cause Marketing Database. But the promotion has been picked up again in 2011 and ends this month.

The donation amount…$1… is modest. But high end brands like the ones in the Luxury Collection face a branding and pricing challenge in offering a larger donation amount. A room with two double beds at The Phoenician in Phoenix... one of their 12 properties in the United States... goes for around $437 a night, while a casita with a king bed starts at around $1300 a night.

If Luxury Collection sets the UNICEF donation at, say, 10 percent of the room rate, is that any more likely to get you to extend your stay than if you just took them up on their Linger promotion? I doubt it. Instead the $1 represents a ‘skin in the game’ amount.

That said, I can imagine a few simple ways to extend the promotion and the benefit to UNICEF. Here’s one:

The Phoenician has three restaurants onsite and four other lounges or cause dining places. Imagine that The Phoenician’s chefs were challenged to come up with a drink or dessert… something spectacular and/or unexpected… whose purchase also benefited UNICEF during a concomitant promotional period.

What do you think of Luxury Collection Hotels and Resorts cause promotion? What would you add or do differently?

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