Skip to main content

Using Sweepstakes in Cause Marketing

When you cause market with a retail partner, in most cases the donation is based on accessing their customer base. In such promotions, the cause is probably enough to get some customers to donate. But sometimes you want or need what I call a ‘MacGuffin,” a term I borrow from the illustrious film director, Alfred Hitchcock.

In this case from Ulta Beauty stores the MacGuffin is a sweepstakes for anyone who donates at least a dollar to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation at one of their stores during the month of October 2012.

In Hitchcock’s definition, a MacGuffin is a plot device that impels people to act. George Lucas said the MacGuffin in Star Wars is R2D2. In Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, the MacGuffin is the Crystal Skull. In Mission Impossible IV, it’s the Russian nuclear launch codes.

The MacGuffin in this promotion from Ulta is a chance to win one of 532 beauty bags, one per store. In order to pass muster with Federal and state regulators, there is an alternate form of entry that costs nothing.

Using a sweepstakes as a cause marketing MacGuffin can really work. I once did a paper icon campaign that had a sweepstakes component that included a chance to win a Harley Davidson motorcycle. The paper icons were priced at $1 each and came with an entry form. It was a two-stage promotion. You had to get drawn for the chance and then you had to come within 5 feet of a hole-in-one at a participating country club.

At the time, I worked for a children’s charity. We thought we needed a MacGuffin because we were all but unknown in the local market.

Believe it or not, somebody did win the Harley. We were insured, so it only cost us the price of the insurance policy. We raised a ton of money and the publicity was dynamite.

Done right, sweepstakes can be a fabulous MacGuffin.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Alden Keene Cause Marketing Stock Index Dramatically Outperforms Other Indices

There are stock indexes galore; the Dow, S&P 500, the NASDAQ Composite, the Wilshire 5000, the FTSE, and hundreds more. But how would an index of the stocks of companies that do a meaningful amount of cause marketing perform compared to those well-known indexes? Pretty well, as it turns out.

I first floated the idea of a stock index that would track companies that do cause marketing back in 2009. I tried to figure out Yahoo Pipes so that I could put the feed right into this blog. But alas sometimes the geek gene does fall pretty far from the tree.

So I talked to programmers to see if I could find someone who could do the same, but it was always more than I was willing to pay.

Finally, last week I hired a MBA student to do it all in a spreadsheet, and what do you know but that over the last 15 years a basket of 25 cause marketing stocks dramatically outperforms the Dow, the S&P 500, the NASDAQ Composite, and the Wilshire 5000.

The index, which I call the Alden Keene Cause Market…

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…

Pimping for Constant Contact

OK, not pimping really. More like a gentle noodge to nonprofits and the companies that love them that it’s time to start email marketing.

I was invited to a local presentation on email marketing from Constant Contact, the Waltham, Massachusetts email marketing outfit whose target market is small businesses and nonprofits.

They offer a cause-related marketing campaign called Care4Kids meant to benefit children’s causes. Constant Contact customers are invited to nominate worthy 501(c)(3) children’s charities to receive a free account along with the training to create an effective email campaign.

Non children’s charities are probably still eligible for charity discounts. If you’re outside the United States you might be able to induce Constant Contact to consider your cause. Alternately, you could suggest a similar program to email marketing vendors in your home country.

It goes without saying… I hope… that every nonprofit needs an email marketing component. Email marketing is a good deal lik…