Skip to main content

As Seen on TV Cause Marketing

One of the pretenses of reality TV in the United States is doing whatever you do in the name of charity. It seems like half the bikes built on the show American Chopper, for instance, are made to be donated to or otherwise auctioned off on behalf of charity.

Likewise, basically every episode of The Celebrity Apprentice turns on one kind of charity fundraiser or another.

It sorta has to be that way. The Donald really doesn’t want to turn loose on his empire a bunch of half-competent 20-watt celebrities.

Before Arsenio Hall’s win on The Celebrity Apprentice May 20, 2012, Walgreens, the mega drugstore chain, developed and began selling a bracelet for $3, with $2 of that going to the Magic Johnson Foundation. The Foundation also received $250,000 thanks to Hall’s Apprentice win.

The card that holds the bracelet says that Walgreens was “inspired by Arsenio Hall’s work to support the Magic Johnson Foundation and created this bracelet to symbolize our joint commitment.” Walgreens had the bracelet in store before Hall’s win on live TV, so they didn’t start the campaign knowing how well he’d finish. (Unless, of course, 'the fix was in.')

But it’s evident that Walgreens may have moved faster than it could internally support the effort.

For instance, Arsenio’s promotional video for the bracelet directs you to walgreens.com/walk, which is Walgreens’ site that incentivizes customers to be physically active. The card above directs you to Walgreens.com/waytowell, which is Walgreens corporate responsibility site.

The waytowell site had a prominent placement of logos from the American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, American Cancer Society and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. But no Magic Johnson. Not even a site search turned up any mention of the Magic Johnson Foundation.

Walgreens.com/walk, however, did turn up multiple mentions of the Magic Johnson Foundation.

Go figure.

Still, I got nothing but love for this effort and here's why:

Walgreens is a $73 billion (sales) company. We usually say that companies that big are flat-footed and slow to act. But not in this cause marketing promotion.

Kudos to Walgreens its Magic Johnson-like nimbleness. 

Comments

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…

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…

Profile of Cause Marketing Veteran Joe Lake

Blogger's Note: What follows is a profile and interview I wrote of Children's Miracle Network co-founder Joe Lake, who was recently installed as the CEO of the Starfish Television Network. This originally appeared in the Salt Lake Enterprise on Monday, May 11.

Lining the walls of the office of Joe Lake, the new CEO of the Starfish Television Network, a 501(c) (3) public charity and television network founded in 2006 and headquartered in Midvale, are pictures of the many celebrities he has worked with.

There are pictures of Joe with Goldie Hawn, Sidney Poitier, Jeff Bridges, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Rob Lowe and Walter Cronkite, and affectionately-autographed publicity stills from Bob Hope and Rich Little.

It’s something you’d expect in the office of a Hollywood agent, or at a celebrity hangout in Manhattan, or Chicago or Vegas. But the Starfish Television Network, whose mission is to tell the stories of nation’s nonprofits in a way that educates, entertains and inspires its audi…