Cause Marketing National Breakfast Week and Other Observances

This week is 'National Breakfast Week,' sponsored in part, as we shall see, by Kellogg’s.

Why should we care? Because “1 in 5 children live in homes where breakfast is hard to come by.”

What should we do? “Share Your Breakfast” on Kellogg’s corporate site or their Facebook page by saying what you had for breakfast this morning. I had a yogurt and oatmeal, so I entered that into the appropriate box. I was then invited to share that via Facebook or an email that included the following message:
Help kids in need get off to their best starts. Share what you had for breakfast and Kellogg's will help provide a breakfast for a child in need.
What happens? Kellogg’s donates one school breakfast, up to one million meals, each time you 'Share Your Breakfast.' Basically, Kellogg’s writes a check for up to $200,000.

Kellogg’s cause partner is Action for Healthy Kids, a consortium of 70 or so organizations like the Whole Grains Council, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the US Department of Agriculture.

The offer turns on “National Breakfast Week March 4-10.”

In fact, the full title of the week is “National School Breakfast Week,” a promotional effort from the US Department of Agriculture. The USDA, which started school breakfasts in 1975, currently serves breakfasts to some 32 million children at public and private schools nationwide.

So if the one million meals are provided at school, why doesn’t the Kellogg’s promotion just adopt the name ‘National School Breakfast Week,’ the name by which it’s been known for a more than a decade? Well, ‘school’ breakfast just ain’t that sexy. Everyone knows that the USDA foots that bill. But hungry kids, well that’s different.

Which raises the issue of cause marketing wrapped around observances like ‘National School Breakfast Week.’ Obviously, Kellogg’s isn’t doing anything underhanded here, since one of Action for Healthy Kids member organizations is the US Department of Agriculture.

And National School Breakfast Week is just the news peg for the promotion. If it didn’t exist, Kellogg’s could have invented it by doing not much more than sending a press release to Chase’s Calendar of Events.

That’s because there’s no sanctioning authority for these observances (and thank goodness for that, by the way. Can you imagine anything more dreary than a Department of Observances?). So long as Kellogg’s isn’t violating any trademarks or copyrights, they’re in the clear.

You could do the same thing.

March 10, for instance, is ‘International Fanny Pack Day.’ March 9 is ‘Middle Name Pride Day’ and ‘Panic Day.’ March 8 is ‘National Proofreading Day’ and ‘Nametag Day.’ Today, March 7, is ‘National Be Heard Day’ and ‘Discover What You Name Means Day.’ (Oddly enough, my name…Paul… means small or humble, although I’m about the size of your average NFL lineman). I got all these directly from Chase’s Calendar of Events. And I just scratched the surface.

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