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Election Day Cause Marketing

Preliminary estimates suggest that voter turnout in yesterday’s general election in the United States was several million short of 2008. But don’t blame the nation’s quick-serve restaurants, which took all kinds of cause marketing-style measures to encourage Americans to exercise their franchise.

Here’s a few examples.
  • Tim Horton’s offered a free donut to anyone who purchased any beverage while sporting an ‘I Voted’ sticker. Horton’s also surprised voters at polling locations in Ohio, Michigan and Buffalo, New York with free coffee/lattes and donuts/muffins.

  • On election day you could get a free taco at California Tortilla locations along the East Coast when your showed your ‘I Voted’ sticker, no purchase necessary. 

  • Select locations of LaMar’s Donuts in Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska offered a free donut to people wearing the ‘I Voted’ sticker. In the lead-up to the election LaMar’s promoted a straw poll of voters as activated by donuts shaped like either a donkey (representing the Democratic party) or an elephant (representing the Republican party), although it had no predictive power. At LaMar’s, Mitt Yumney outpolled Dough-Bama 50.2 to 49.8 percent. 
This isn’t cause marketing in the way we usually think about it. But there’s definitely a cause involved here…voter turnout…  and the principles of cause marketing are being utilized to motivate human behavior, which is the essence of cause marketing.

Just another way that cause marketing has inculcated itself into our everyday life.

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