Skip to main content

Cause Marketing That’s Asleep at the HTML Wheel

Bought a book today at and there waiting for me in the checkout window was an invitation to donate $1 or more to the Wounded Warrior Project. Great idea. A pity Overstock did it so carelessly.

Currently, consumers tell marketing researchers they are mostly likely to respond to cause marketing appeals from military veteran’s causes like the Wounded Warrior Project. Gallup says that the military is the most-confidence inspiring institution in modern American society, polling out 14 points higher than the second place finisher, small business.

In other words, in picking a veteran’s cause like Wounded Warrior to partner with Overstock put its finger on the beating pulse of the American zeitgeist.

They just didn’t quite get it right.

Read the call to action and you’ll know what I mean: “Donate to a Good Cause,” it reads. Wounded Warrior’s evocative logo is there. So too are the words “Learn More” with a link to some explication. But the call to action is the bloodless, “Donate to a Good Cause.”

I’ll bet Overstock has hundreds of SEO/SEM types whose job its is to come up with descriptions that are meant to make people take specific actions. No doubt Overstock picked Wounded Warrior as a charity partner for several specific reasons, but the least compelling of all was that Wounded Warrior Project is a good cause. It is, but so too are tens of thousands of other causes in the United States.

Someone at Overstock, and probably more than one someone, was asleep at the HTML wheel when they posted this to their checkout page.


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…

KFC Concept Restaurant Gives a Nod to Cause Marketing for Local Causes

KFC, a unit of Yum Brands, is testing a new quick-serve restaurant version of the fried chicken outlet and among the changes is that its cause marketing efforts will be much more local, according to Anne Fuller, senior director of development for KFC eleven.

The KFC eleven test store is in Louisville, Kentucky, KFC’s headquarters. When it opens August 5, 2013, it will feature rice bowls, flatbreads, salads, KFC original recipe chicken among other items, plus sides. A second test location is set to open in Louisville before year’s end. The 11 in KFC eleven is a salute to the 11 herbs and spices in their original recipe chicken.

The trade-dress for the test store includes lamp lighting, digital signage with community news, and artwork from local artists.

Why step into the quick serve space? Fuller answered a reporter from this way: “People love KFC but it's not a frequent choice for many guests for some reason. We wanted to create a broad and balanced menu that could mayb…