Skip to main content

Long-Term, Committed Monogamy in Cause Marketing

Some sponsors do so much volume and have such great visibility and recognition that they almost have the pick of charities to partner with. So, like actor George Clooney, some sponsors have been seen with a lot of different pretty faces over the years.

Toys R Us has had cause marketing relationships with at least 4 charities in the last 20 years and is currently with Toys for Tots.

In the last year Purina, the pet foods brand, has done cause marketing campaigns with Adopt-A-Pet.com, as seen at the left, and with Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

But there is value to strict monogamy in cause marketing relationships. After all, which is cuter, George Clooney canoodling with girlfriend #32 or a couple that’s been married 65 years that still holds hands and snuggles?

With that in mind, here’s my short list of the positives of long-term monogamous cause marketing relationships.

Customers begin to think of you and your charity partner as an inseparable pair. And that’s good for both your brands. To illustrate, here’s a pop quiz…who’s the partner for these organizations/brands? (answers below).
  • Subway
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities
  • Yoplait
  • St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
The relationships between your staffs deepens. Like an old couple you understand each other’s rhythms, moods, and annual calendars. And you accommodate yourself to your partner’s needs and disposition.

You understand each other’s business models. There’s a Steely Dan song called “Hey 19” that explains it all. The song is about the disappointment an older man feels with a younger lover at having to explain all the things meaningful to him. The pertinent line is: “Hey 19, that’s ‘Retha Franklin. She don’t remember the queen of soul…” There’s value in not having to perpetually explain everything to your partner.

Your communication has grown past the puppy love stage. You can speak frankly without upsetting each other. And you can raise really out-there ideas without worrying about losing face.

You become each other’s memory. I don’t remember where I read it, but someone once said that part of the pain of divorce is that when couples split they lose part of the memory that their partner had for the couple’s friends, events, feelings, facts and the like. Similarly, even with changing staffs chances are someone in the relationship remembers why one approach in the past did or did not work.

That’s my short list. Feel free to add to it in the comments below.

(Quiz answer key: Subway+American Heart Association; Ronald McDonald House Charities+McDonalds; Yoplait+ Susan G. Komen for the Cure; St. Jude Children's Research Hospital+Target).

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…

Unconventional Metrics of Cause Marketing Power

The printed edition of Fortune Magazine runs a regular feature called ‘My Metric’ wherein business leaders identify informal but telling measures of current economic activity.

In the January 17, 2011 Michael Glimcher, CEO of Glimcher Realty Trust cited as his metric an increased number of black cars on the streets of New York City as a sign of the U.S. economy’s (still pending?) resurgence.

That got me thinking, what unconventional metrics evidence the power of certain cause marketing efforts?

One immediately leapt to mind, although only General Mills, which makes Yoplait yogurt in the U.S., can measure it.

The Yoplait lid at left... which I purchased in December 2010... can NOT be redeemed for a $0.10 donation to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Instead it promotes Yoplait’s sponsorship of Komen’s Race for the Cure events, which are numerous.

But I’d bet you a six-pack of Yoplait Greek Honey Vanilla that people nonetheless still send in some number of the lids above in an attempt to redeem th…

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…