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Cause Marketing Earth Day at Lowe's

When I saw this circular in yesterday’s mailbox from Lowe’s I was puzzled. It looks like cause marketing effort themed to Earth Day, but there was no further explanation anywhere in the circular.

My first reaction was, “please, Lowe's, don’t do this on your own. You won’t get it right." A million tree giveaway in time for Earth Day oughta be done in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation or with the charity American Forests.

So I Googled ‘Lowe’s Million Tree Giveaway’ and low and behold Lowe’s IS partnered with American Forests. The press release went out Monday and it’s an admirable campaign.

The million trees are indeed free from Lowe’s and optimized for your growing zone. You can point your smartphone at a 2D barcode on each tree bag to get tree facts, how to plant the sapling, how to care for it, and the like. The press release also says you can also register the sapling at lowes.com/earthday.

Why would you want to register your tree?

The press release says that registering the tree will allow you “to see where other trees are being planted across the country.” But while that offers registrants a measure of social proof, it seems a little thin and unpersuasive. What if registrants instead could be entered into a sweepstakes for ecotourism vacation to Costa Rica? Or to volunteer, all expenses paid, for some kind of forest remediation project undertaken by American Forests?

At any rate, I couldn’t find the registration functionality at the URL. Between that and the fact the America Forests logo is missing from the circular above, I wonder if Lowe’s has all its saplings in order in this otherwise intriguing campaign.

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