Skip to main content

Repeat After Me, Cause Marketing is Co-Branding

FSIs or Free-Standing Inserts are those booklets of coupons mailed to your address or stuffed into your Sunday newspaper. They’ve been a hallmark of cause marketing almost from the very earliest days when much of cause marketing involved consumer packaged goods (CPG). For a time the use of FSIs to distribute coupons was declining, but they’ve surged again during the Great Recession, as has the average value of coupons.

The cover of FSI at the left, sponsored by the British-Dutch CPG company Unilever, features the cause Boy’s and Girls Clubs of America. It dropped on May 17. My FSI had eight pages of Unilever coupons not counting the cover, along with at least that many more pages from non-Unilever products.

Unilever, the body copy on the cover tells us, is donating $250,000 to the Boys and Girls Club of America. But that’s the full extent of the co-branding. Where’s the paragraph or two of explanation of all the valuable things Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) do for school-age kids? Where’s an ancillary promotion benefiting the BGCA? Where’s the additional photos of BGCA kids learning or being active at their local club? Where’s BGCA’s URL or Facebook page?

Cause marketing is co-branding, just as much as those Coke cups on the judges’ desks on American Idol is co-branding. Implicit in the idea of co-branding is that both parties benefit. Coke keeps its brand in front of a young audience. American Idol makes a few nickels from the deal, sure, but it also benefits from being associated with one of America’s most enduring brands. Coke and Idol both win.

Now BGCA got $250,000 for about the amount of effort it took to take the check to the bank. And easy money in these troubled times is especially valuable for charities.

But when a sponsor demonstrates to customers and potential customers why supporting their cause of choice is not only wise but emotionally satisfying, you make your sponsorship more valuable than just a logo and 30 words of copy.

BGCA isn’t off the hook here. They should have insisted that as a condition to the sponsorship that they get not just the cash, but an endorsement from Unilever in the form of page of explanation in the FSI of BGCA.

Procter & Gamble, a smart marketer if ever there was one, shows this every year with their FSI that’s themed to the Special Olympics. In their May 1, 2011 Special Olympics themed FSI at left, P&G devoted two pages beyond the cover to co-brand its long-time partner.

Compare and contrast P&G’s fulsome support with this spare effort from Unilever.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Profile of Cause Marketing Veteran Joe Lake

Blogger's Note: What follows is a profile and interview I wrote of Children's Miracle Network co-founder Joe Lake, who was recently installed as the CEO of the Starfish Television Network. This originally appeared in the Salt Lake Enterprise on Monday, May 11.

Lining the walls of the office of Joe Lake, the new CEO of the Starfish Television Network, a 501(c) (3) public charity and television network founded in 2006 and headquartered in Midvale, are pictures of the many celebrities he has worked with.

There are pictures of Joe with Goldie Hawn, Sidney Poitier, Jeff Bridges, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Rob Lowe and Walter Cronkite, and affectionately-autographed publicity stills from Bob Hope and Rich Little.

It’s something you’d expect in the office of a Hollywood agent, or at a celebrity hangout in Manhattan, or Chicago or Vegas. But the Starfish Television Network, whose mission is to tell the stories of nation’s nonprofits in a way that educates, entertains and inspires its audi…

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…

50 Cent, Cause Marketer

Curtis Jackson, aka rapper 50 Cent visited the horn of Africa in September 2011 hosted by the United Nations and committed to provide 1 billion meals to the World Food Programme over the next five years, funded in part by several cause marketing efforts.

The Horn of Africa has a lot of problems right now, nonetheleast of which is that starvation there is rampant, long-term drought is endemic, and working institutions are few.

Since the UN's World Food Programme can manage to deliver a meal for about $0.10, Jackson has basically committed to donating $100 million (or 200 million 50 cent pieces). That's a very big number.

He gave his commitment a kick start with a donation of $350,000. Like him on Facebook, and when he reaches 1 million new likes, he’ll donate another $1 million.

50 Cent is also tying the sales of his Street King energy drink to the World Food Progamme (WFP). For every bottle sold, 50 Cent will donate one meal.

Street King competes with 5-Hour Energy Drink, a ca…