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Pepsi and Lowe's Co-Brand to Support the Troops

On monday, May 23, 2011 the post was about the current American zeitgeist for supporting the troops. The post on Thursday May 19, 2011 was about how cause marketing is a form of co-branding. Too bad I didn’t wait until today to post on those separate subjects because I could have killed two birds with one post.

Yesterday I got the Lowe’s circular at left that features co-branded cause marketing with PepsiCo benefiting the troops.

Called Summer Salute Program, here’s how it works: PepsiCo and Lowe’s will donate $1 million to unnamed charity or charities that support the troops and their families. Part of Pepsi’s piece of this includes their NASCAR drivers Jimmie Johnson (Gatorade), Jeff Gordon (Pepsi Max) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (AMP Energy/Mountain Dew), all of whom will run their cars with Summer Salute paint schemes. All are affiliated with the famed Hendrick Motorsports team. Johnson, of course, drives the Lowe’s car.

To give the campaign a little more emotional depth, Lowe’s and PepsiCo invite people to post messages of support to the military both on videotape at YouTube and Facebook and through a messaging system.

On Memorial Day weekend, Lowe’s will also offer a 10 percent discount to all active, reserve, retired, and honorably discharged U.S. military personnel, VA benefits recipients, and their immediate family members. Certain restrictions, as they say, apply.

The only place I could find reference to any of this was at lowesracing.com. But even the press release there was unfortunately vague, leaving me with several questions. Who gets the money for instance and how will it be spent? The USO logo appears on the Lowesracing.com, but the press release doesn’t explicitly mention the USO. Is it a straight donation or is it transactional cause marketing triggered by a PepsiCo product purchase? The circular says the former, the press release says nothing.

Finally, is it just me or is NASCAR still in trouble?

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