Skip to main content

Five Pieces of Unsolicited Cause Marketing Advice to Actor Hugh Jackman

Versatile action star and Broadway song-and-dance man Hugh Jackman has started a new ‘all-benefits company’ that he explicitly says was inspired by Newman’s Own.

Here’s five bits of entirely unsolicited cause marketing advice to Mr. Jackman from yours truly.

1. Put Your Face On the Packaging. I don’t know what Laughing Man means and probably most of your potential customers don’t either. Speaking of Newman and yourself, you told Entertainment Weekly magazine, “This is a really great to, uh, exploit your popularity, basically. It is shameless exploitation.” Except the name Laughing Man is hardly shameless exploitation of your celebrity. To really be shameless and to get the most bang for your buck, you need to put the face of one of World’s Most Beautiful People on the packaging of Laughing Man.

2. Turn Your Face Into a Caricature. Brands including Betty Crocker, Uncle Ben, KFC, the Quaker Oats Quaker dude and even Paul Newman are all represented by illustrated characters. Betty Crocker looks different now than she did even 10 years ago. As an illustrated character Paul Newman could wear a chef’s toque or a beret or an apron. Making yourself into a caricature allows you to distance yourself a little from the brand, remain ageless. It means you don’t have to do new photo shoots every time you roll out a new product, just a new drawing. And it allows your brand to survive even after your death.

3. By All Means Continue to Tell Stories on The Packaging. Right now the packaging for Laughing Man tells the stories of the farmers and small businesspeople that the company works with and for. By adding your cartoon visage, I’m not suggesting that you get rid of those important back stories. You can and should keep them. I once did an informal study of the packaging for premium food brands and found that they had at least 20 percent more words on them than non-premium brands. Remember what the direct mail guys say: “tell more, sell more.”

4. Find Your Complementary Partner. Newman’s longtime partner was novelist and playwright A.E Hotchner. Read either of their the two books they wrote together to get a sense about their working dynamics on Newman’s Own. But it seems clear that Hotchner and Newman complemented each other greatly. You can’t do this all on your own. You need a partner who can do things you can’t or won’t do.

5. Be Prepared to Do this ‘til You Die. In his later years Newman joked that he was better known for Newman’s Own than for his acting career. I don’t know if that’s true or not. But it is true that Newman spent much more time in his role as an indefatigable social entrepreneur and philanthropist than he did in other role except as a husband and father. He was still personally approving and distributing the company’s profits until just two years before his death.

Finally, and this is a bonus suggestion; figure out how to sell goods manufactured in Africa under your brand. Africa, especially, has a very small manufacturing base. It’s a great benefit to Africa’s small farmers to buy their chocolate and tea and coffee beans. But you could bring still more money and benefit to Africa if you could figure out how to have those and other items manufactured there.

Best wishes! I genuinely hope you do at least as well as Newman’s Own, which has donated more than $300 million to charity since 1982.

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…