Skip to main content

Christmas Cause Marketing from Lockheed Martin

Unless you subscribe to some publication like the Army Times or Aviation Week and Space Technology, or you frequent the Yellow or Blue lines of the Washington D.C. Metro subway on the Virginia side of the Potomac, chances are you don’t often see much advertising from military contractors. But this is Christmas. And to hear Lockheed Martin tell it, sometimes Santa himself needs their C-130 aircraft to see that needy kids have toys to play with come Christmas Day.

The ad features Lockheed Martin employees supporting Toys for Tots, a charitable effort of the US Marine Corp Reserve.

With revenues of $47 billion in 2010, Lockheed Martin is one of the largest defense contractors in the world with specialties in aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft. On the left side of the ad you see a photo of a row of C-130s, which the company has produced since the 1950s.

Quoting a Mother Jones article, Wikipedia says that Lockheed received 7 percent of all the funds paid out by the Pentagon in 2009.

I don’t have a problem per se with defense contractors doing cause marketing or advertising their support of a cause like Toys for Tots. But I do wonder why they did it so poorly.

I found this ad in the Dec. 5 issue of Time magazine, not on a billboard face at one of the subway stops near the Pentagon. And yet to read it, you’d swear you were reading one of their dry B2B out-of-home ads that litter stops on the Blue and the Yellow lines.

For instance, the headline speaks of the call of ‘duty,’ which is powerful imagery in the military, but less so for readers of Time magazine, much less Joe Six-Pack.

The last sentence of the body copy may be the most telling: “Of all the missions our aircraft perform around the world, delivering holiday joy is definitely the happiest.”

(It must have taken all the self-restraint the Lockheed Martin copywriter had not to use the phrase ‘mission-critical’ in that sentence).

But the ad doesn’t really support the assertion that Lockheed Martin aircraft delivers holiday joy.

There’s nothing in the ad that tells us how the C-130 has been used as a ‘flying sleigh.’ Has a C-130 has ever been loaded up with toys donated by Lockheed Martin and its employees to deliver to kids in the developing world, or to an American Indian reservation, or a poor urban center? This ad is mute on that count.

But if Lockheed Martin has done something like that, well, then, that’s 10 times the ad that this one is.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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…

Cause-Related Marketing Meets Microfinance

Kiva.org and Advanta.com Mix it Up

You’d have had to have been in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia the last year or so to have missed the run up of microfinance. Between 2004 and 2006 more than $4 billion of capital flowed into microfinance institutions. All told experts say the total loan microfinance loan portfolio may be as much as $12.5 billion. And of course the father of microfinance, Muhammad Yunus won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. Microfinance is now so respectable, so effective, (so profitable!) that it’s already enjoying its first global backlash.

Actually that first sentence is hyperbole. Because even in Ulaanbaatar… far from almost anywhere on the vast, frigid steppes of Mongolia… microfinance is thriving such that the earliest recipients of micro loans there are now complaining about taxes and government bureaucracy! And May 29-31, 2008 the Conference of Microfinance Institutions will convene in Ulaanbaatar, the eleventh such annual conference.
Now Advanta, a credit card issuer to small…

Cause Marketing Beer with BOGO, Brew One Give One

On Monday’s post I touched on the topic of telling people what your cause marketing campaign accomplished when completed. I’ve recommended this approach to clients as a way to keep open the lines of communication with customers and clients and to get extra value from the campaign.

In other words, you’ll want to hold back some of the promotion’s budget to continue to activate the effort until the very end.

But what if that really cuts across the grain in your organization? What if it’s just not in your corporate DNA to do anything but to frontload your cause marketing activation? Well, then, add the report back to the activation of your next cause marketing effort.

New Belgium Brewing of Ft. Collins, Colorado, said to be the seventh largest brewery in the United States, did just that with this ad in Sunset magazine. I found this ad in the Alden Keene Cause Marketing Database.

New Belgium donates $1 for every barrel it brews and sells. It’s a BOGO cause marketing effort, Buy One Give One. …