Skip to main content

Pink Ribbon Cause Marketing Targeted to Men

My travels yesterday took me to a suburban Ulta Beauty store. There was a great deal of cause marketing going on there, none of it… not surprisingly… aimed at a someone like me.

But why not? Men are both directly and indirectly affected by breast cancer. About 2,000 men are diagnosed with breast cancer every year, and about 400 men a year die from it. It’s far more likely that men will be indirectly affected by breast cancer via their wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts and cousins. My mother was a breast cancer survivor, for instance.

Men have a major stake in breast cancer awareness and a cure, in other words. So where’s the pink ribbon cause marketing targeted at men?

Some pink ribbon shoes come in men’s sizes. The NFL offers pink merchandise in men’s sizes in conjunction with its partner the American Cancer Society. A man could certainly play tennis with a Wilson Hope Lite racquet or soccer with Puma Project Pink skill ball. There’s some pink ribbon jewelry that men could wear.

A man could buy sliced meats and cheeses from Boar’s Head… sold in the deli sections of many grocery stores in North America… which has done pink ribbon cause marketing in the past. And, of course, there’s soaps, candles, shampoos, lotions, and other potions festooned with pink ribbons… that men can and do use…but which aren’t marketed to the male gender, per say.

Here’s one that could: Tic Tacs.

The little mini breath mints in a clear plastic box, are sporting the pink ribbon this month. Tic Tac is donating $100,000 to CancerCare, a nonprofit that provides counseling, support groups, information, and the like to people with any type of cancer. The campaign is called Shake, Care, and Share. The flavors are a pink strawberry mixed with the regular a white cream flavor.

So imagine a TV ad with a handsome man, perhaps 30. He enters a building complex passing a sign that says ‘Breast Cancer Treatment Center’ and dashes up the stairs. Over this footage a voiceover says:
“This October, Tic Tac, the little breath mints with just 2 calories each, is donating $100,000 to CancerCare, the charity that helps thousands of Americans deal with cancer.”

The man walks in the waiting room, and scans it. He sees who he’s looking for, makes a quick wave and a smile, and pops a couple of Tic Tacs. He walks over and kisses a woman, who we only just now see. She’s beautiful, about 60, and has very short hair. She smiles back carefully.

“Hi mom,” he says, “you ready for another one?”

She nods bravely and they walk together into the next room, hand-in-hand.

Fade to black. Bring up logos.

Narrator: “Tic Tac. Shake, Care, and Share.”


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…

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…

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…