Buy One, Give One Cause Marketing for Services

I’ve highlighted numerous products that utilize Buy One Give One; shoes, baby blankets, fruit snacks, watches, neckties, fragrances, wine, and eyeglasses, to name a few. I’ve certainly seen services that use cause marketing; including law firms, hotel chains and vacation companies. Now a video production company in Belgium is using BOGO to cause market their service.

For each travel video Timbooktwo produces, the company will make a video for a charity.

Here’s how it works; when the company is in a region of the world shooting for a paying client, they will contact a charity in the region and shoot for a day. The company says: “In our experience, most charity projects fit into this time frame.”

In that way, what Timbooktwo is doing is similar to companies that pay employees for certain volunteer work.

But, of course, that analogy is incomplete since the shooting of a video is only the start. At the very least it requires many more hours of both pre and post-production time.

I should also point out that the paying client can’t choose the charity that Timbooktwo (fun name, BTW) creates the video for, although they say they’re open to suggestions.

I spent part of my early career writing, producing and selling corporate video, which was very expensive in those days. There were crews to pay, expensive cameras and editing equipment, and you’d have to futz around with the lighting and sound.

I feel like such an old guy for pointing this out, but Timbooktwo’s promotion is enabled by digital technology. Back in the old days there were consumables when you shot video. You’d shoot on Betamax or ¾” tape and then have, usually, no less than two editing cycles.

Nowadays because you can shoot, edit and distribute digitally, you squeeze out a lot of those old costs.

Never mind that you can get a very high-quality image even in bad and low light with low-cost equipment. It’s all very disruptive. Very Joseph Schumpetery. It’s like a redo of desktop publishing revolution again. Only with a slamming audio track!

What does it mean at a bottom-line level?

It means you could shoot a video with an $800 DSLR, edit it on a $2,000 computer with $500 worth of software and put the results on TV.

Doubters sometimes portray cause marketing as the last refuge of scoundrel companies trying to preserve pricing power by linking up with a respected cause.

But this effort from Timbooktwo makes it clear that cause marketing can also better enable disruptors to better play their role in the circle that is creative destruction.

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