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:
- American Express Statue of Liberty Restoration
- Yoplait Save Lids to Save Lives
- Dove Campaign for Real Beauty
- 1,000 Playgrounds in 1,000 Days
- The Members Project
- Whirlpool and Habitat for Humanity
- Lee National Denim Day
- Product (RED)
- 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.
by Ashley Dolan
From the beginning of Innovative PR’s work with Christian Campus House (CCH), I could tell the project was going to be different from any our agency coordinated. CCH brought the initiative called Something to Eat to the University of Central Missouri (UCM) campus last year. This project is a hands-on food packaging event where meals are assembled by volunteers on site, then shipped to communities in need. Last year the UCM campus came together and packaged more than 5,000 meals. Though the donated meals made a great impact on those in need, CCH knew they could give more. CCH reached out to Innovative PR to help the event reach its full potential.
Something to Eat at UCM has been a unique experience for our agency. It’s such a visual and hands-on project that it’s fun just being at the tent, taking it all in. From the colorful signs that fill the tent, to the pictures of people who were fed last year, CCH has made this event a point of attraction. There are great photo opportunities for students that package meals and a tower that shows UCM’s progress in reaching the goal of assembling 13,220 meals.
Innovative PR provided the opportunity for participants to share their experience at Something to Eat on social media, which serves as a tool to recruit their friends to take part in the initiative. Groups and organizations really took hold of the option for the group sign-up. From the UCM Cheer Squad to sororities, church youth groups and entire classes, the idea of feeding people together became a reality this week.
Witnessing the excitement students and the community have for the Something to Eat project is chilling. News of the event spread like wildfire throughout campus. The first day of the event I couldn’t stop refreshing my Twitter timeline, as I watched the online conversation and use of #SomethingtoEat skyrocket.
The passion CCH has for the cause mirrors Innovative PR’s passion for public relations and giving back to the UCM campus. Our client doesn’t know this, but their enthusiasm has inspired many of our ideas, generated our passion, and this has created impressive results for Something to Eat.
So far more than 3,000 meals have been packaged and with all of the support from the community we can’t wait to see the impact that this event will make by the end of the week.
This experience has taught me so much about working together for a cause, but what it all comes down to is the power of giving back.
When you do good for others, good things happen.