Skip to main content

1 Exemplary Cause Marketing Effort, 4 Activations

Last Saturday found me Christmas shopping and in two very different retail settings I came across examples of St. Jude’s Thanks + Giving effort, which are integrated in an exemplary fashion.

At the left is an ad from Entertainment Weekly magazine for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital which activates the Thanks + Giving effort with the call to action, “This Holiday, give thanks for the healthy kids in your life, and give to those who are not.”

Sponsors support their participation in Thanks + Giving with in-store promotions. I bought the gift card at the left at my nearby Old Navy where I had a choice between several versions of these kids’ art cards. Aside from the gift cards, the Old Navy I went to had little else that demonstrated their support of Thanks + Giving.

By contrast, at AutoZone where I picked up a new lamp for my car’s headlights, Thanks + Giving was evident in several places. The front doors had a window cling that announced AutoZone’s support. Likewise, there was a printed screen-surround for all the computer monitors at the front counter that invited people to make a donation.

That screen surround served to remind the parts clerks to ask for a donation. But since the monitors turn around to display information to customers, the surrounds were also meant for customers as well.

Dick’s Sporting Goods also supports Thanks + Giving with in-store promotional material. But they also advertise the promotion on their weekly flyer, as seen at the left.

The reason why St. Jude is supporting Thanks + Giving with advertising while sponsors activate the campaign in-store is to create synergy and momentum for the campaign. One of the oldest rules of advertising and promotion is that almost no one buys after the first mention. It is only by dripping away at people that you can hope to reach them at the time they’re ready to make a purchase or donation decision.

St. Jude’s ads demonstrate that it is an active partner in the promotion. It’s not just a free-rider lapping up the publicity spilled from the dishes of its deep-pocketed corporate partners.

Trouble is, by itself St. Jude can’t profitably do enough advertising to really move the sales needle for its partners or donations for itself.

But every day hundreds of thousands of people will walk through the doors of Thanks + Giving’s retail partners. Once in the doors there’s little external advertising that could influence those potential customers. So signs, screen surrounds, and employees who mention the company’s participation in Thanks + Giving are the last influencers.

Cable and telecommunications companies talk about the last mile of their network. It’s a reference to the expense and challenge of getting cable or telecommunications services into the home or business.

In a like manner, the last 100 meters for a retailer comes once a prospect is in the store. Cause marketing efforts like Thanks + Giving or Macy’s Believe campaign can bring people into a retail setting. But for cause marketing to influence purchasing decisions once there, the customer either has to know about it, be reminded of it, or learn about it inside the store.


Popular posts from this blog

Three Ways to Be Charitable

I’ve spent a big chunk of my career working with or for charities. Many of my dearest and ablest friends are in the charity ‘space.’ And the creativity and problem-solving coming out of the nonprofit sector has never been greater.  Although I’ve had numerous nonprofit clients over the last decade or so, I haven’t worked in a charity for about 12 years now, which gives me a certain distance. Distance lends perspective and consequently, I get a lot of people asking me which charities I recommend for donations of money or time. My usual answer is, “it depends.” “On what?” they respond. “On what you want from your charitable activities,” I reply. It sounds like a weaselly consultant kind of an answer, but bear with me for a moment. The English word charity comes from the Latin word caritas and means “from the heart,” implying a voluntary act. Caritas is the same root word for cherish. The Jews come at charity from a different direction. The Hebrew word that is usually rendered as charity is t…

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…

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…