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Must... Somehow... Work Super Bowl Advertising and Cause Marketing Into This Headline

In the moments and hours after the Super Bowl advertising executives appear like earthworms after a rainstorm to grade and critique the television ads. Never mind that very few of these experts have ever actually produced a Super Bowl ad, much less one that would pass muster with their equally critical peers!

So not one more word on the 2012 Super Bowl ads, at least from me.

Instead I want to raise the banner for a kind of cause marketing I’d like to see actually develop.

The idea was prompted by a trip to Walgreens when I purchased a paper icon benefiting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

At the bottom of the Walgreen receipt there was a website toll-free phone number. Dial the number, answer some questions and you’re entered into a drawing for $10,000. Other companies that do this direct you to a website URL.

I don’t know what their response rate is, but the $10,000 amount suggests that it’s pretty low.

Taco Bell’s survey gives out $1,000 per week. At a regional seafood restaurant they give me a code that garners a free dessert when you complete their survey.

Finish Home Depot’s survey and you’re entered to win a $5,000 gift card good at the retailer.

As I left the store I thought, ‘they know I just bought a JDRF paper icon. Instead of offering me the chance to win $10,000, why wouldn’t they offer to donate $5 (or more!) to JDRF when I complete their survey?’

If that seems like a stretch, take a step back. Encouraging certain human behaviors in exchange for making a donation of some kind to a charity is a defining factor in most cause marketing.

My purchase of the JDRF paper icon demonstrates that I have some affinity for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. It’s not a big sweaty ordeal to write a couple of lines of code in order to change the pitch at the bottom of the receipt when I've purchased a JDRF icon. Heck they could even get JDRF’s logo on it, too.

For that matter Walgreens could even offer some sort of sliding scale whereby the sooner you call, the greater the donation, since time is of the essence in these things. It might look like this:
  • Answer the survey within 24 hours and the donation is $10.
  • Answer the survey within 48 hours and the donation is $7.
  • Answer the survey within 72 hours and the donation is $5, etc.
Maybe the only real challenge would be explaining it simply enough in 30 words or less.

Most of these surveys can also be completed online, too. That represents another chance to do some cause marketing and some marketing for JDRF.

For people who choose the JDRF donation option, when the survey ends they could be linked to the JDRF site or maybe some interim microsite that would offer thanks and reinforce their core message. The microsite could also offer subscriptions to one or more of JDRF’s e-newsletters.

I think it's worth considering.

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