Target goes back-to-school and gives back to the community

by Amanda Plachte


Pulling inspiration from philanthropic efforts such as TOM’S One for One movement, Target wants to try its hand at cause marketing this back-to-school season. The retailer will give one Up & Up brand school supply product to a student in need for each school supply of the same brand that is purchased between July 13 and Aug. 2.

In her Ad Age article, author Natalie Zmuda explains that Target spokesperson Jenna Reck says that the company hopes to donate $25 million worth of supplies to the Kids In Need Foundation and will be tracking progress and updating consumers throughout the campaign.

“It’s giving us more pulse points to connect with guests in a way that’s authentic,” Reck said. “It gives us something outside of just deals that we can talk about with our guests.”

Cause marketing is becoming quite popular.

According to Adweek’s Erik Oster, popular causes include environmental concerns, feminist issues and LGBT rights. He explains that pride month saw numerous campaigns from brands like Burger King, YouTube and Lucky Charms. Female empowerment campaigns included Dove’s award-winning “Real Beauty Sketches” campaign and Always’ recent viral success “Like A Girl.”

The Cause Marketing Forum compiled a list of influential campaigns:

  1. American Express Statue of Liberty Restoration
  2. Yoplait Save Lids to Save Lives
  3. Dove Campaign for Real Beauty
  4. 1,000 Playgrounds in 1,000 Days
  5. The Members Project
  6. Whirlpool and Habitat for Humanity
  7. Lee National Denim Day
  8. Product (RED)
  9. Live Strong Bracelet

What makes a campaign successful?

There are some crucial elements that need to be present in order for an organization’s efforts to really pay off. Writer Savannah Marie gives some tips in her Alley Watch article. They include:

  • Authenticity – Consumers need to know that a company truly cares about the cause.
  • Benefit – Tactics need to actually benefit the supported charity; usually with money. By endorsing the cause, a business tells customers that the cause is credible and is truly providing a service to the community.
  • Values – The endorsing company and the cause should have like-values in order to be effective.
  • Publicity – Earned and paid publicity can deliver the call-to-action to consumers about how they can support the cause.

What brand-supported causes are important to you? Don’t forget to “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Pinterest.

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