Archive for the ‘CSR – Cause Mktg’ Category

Nike tells Marty McFly: “Just do it !”

December 5, 2011

TakeAway: With a special-edition “Back to the Future” shoe, Nike helps to fundraise $9.4M for Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson Foundation.

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Excerpted from, “Nike ‘Back to the Future’ Shoes Raise $9.4 Million for Michael J. Fox Foundation


When 1985’s Back to the Future blew the doors off of the box office – eventually generating $303.87 billion – two sequels were automatically set into motion and released in 1989 and 1990. And somewhere in there, someone got fully turned onto the joy of product placement.

Back to the Future II was particularly chockfull of brand names, including Black and Decker, Pepsi, Texaco, Mattel, Pizza Hut,  The Weather Channel, 7-Eleven, and AT&T, among others. But fans salivated most over the special shoe that Nike designer Tinker Hatfield created for the film, the Nike MAG shoe, with its glowing LED panel and an electroluminescent “Nike” for Michael J. Fox to wear as the film’s hero, Marty McFly.

Sneaker aficionados had been begging the company for years to release the same shoe to the mainstream. So in a highly-publicized eBay auction in September, Nike made only 1,500 to auction off on eBay to raise cash for Michael J. Fox’s Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. The result was $4.7 million from consumers, which a matching initiative doubled to $9.4 million.

“The enthusiasm this project ignited, and the funds and awareness the shoes generated for Parkinson’s research, are both humbling and inspiring,” Fox. “Our Foundation is truly grateful to Nike for this unique partnership that brought Back to the Future fans, sneakerheads and the PD community together in the quest to eradicate Parkinson’s from the space-time continuum.”

The first pair went to British rapper and “avid sneaker collector” Tinie Tempah, who shelled out $37,500 for the honor at a celeb auction in Los Angeles.

If you missed out and are looking to pick up some Back to the Future memorabilia while helping out Fox’s Foundation, you’re in luck. Technabob reports that auction house Profiles in History will sell off more than 100 items from the films in L.A. between Dec. 15 and Dec. 18. Part of the proceeds will go to the Foundation.

Some of the gear set to be auctioned off includes some futuristic Pepsi and Slice cans, Marty’s Mattel Hoverboard, the case from the Nike self-lacing shoes, and, yes, one of the seven awesome DeLoreans used during the filming. It would make an unforgettable holiday gift, don’t you think?

Edit by KJM.

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The rise of the ‘citizen consumer’ … and the rising tide of cause marketing.

July 19, 2011

Punch line: American consumers of all ages are increasingly motivated to buy products that have a connection to a particular charitable or social cause

The key caveat: when price and quality are the same.

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Excerpted from USA Today 

Consumers are drawn to products with a charitable connection.

American consumers of all ages are increasingly motivated to buy products that have a connection to a particular charitable or social cause.

Nearly half of survey respondents ranked “social purpose” as the No. 1 factor.

In one recent survey, consumers ranked “purpose” as a significantly more important reason to buy a product than design, innovation or brand loyalty, when quality and price are the same.

“Americans seek deeper involvement in social issues and expect brands and companies to provide various means of engagement,”

“We call this the rise of the ‘citizen consumer.'”

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“Cause-related marketing .. is not about slapping a ribbon on a product any longer,”

“Almost half of respondents …  say they feel brands only support good causes for publicity and promotion, and not because they really care.”

But for companies that get it right, the upside of cause marketing is big. Despite the recession, more than half of consumers say that they are willing to pay more for a product that supports a good cause,

Which companies are getting it right? Respondents placed Pepsi, Newman’s Own and Nike, respectively, on top.

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That TV show on obesity … well, it sold a ton of ads.

November 3, 2009

TakeAway:  There’s emerging evidence that consumers pay more attention to advertisements that speak to their specific interests. 

So, broadcasters, inspired by this finding, are rearranging their programs and leveraging this cause-based program line-up to lure advertisement dollars.

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Excerpted from WSJ, “NBC Universal Tees Up Cause-Related Shows,” By Suzanne Vranica, October 19, 2009

With ad spending still in the doldrums, NBCU has won some extra business by offering marketers the chance to hitch their products to programs promoting a cause, health, or social issue.

NBCU is creating issue programs across its broadcast, cable and online properties … and is touting these issue packages as a way for marketers to better target ads and product placements.

Advertisers and media buyers say choosing programs with a unifying theme, and airing ads based on that theme, lets them better direct their advertising to consumers interested in a particular topic and helps get viewers to pay closer attention to ads … 

NBCU’s latest issue: health and wellness, with a focus on obesity

This issue allows NBCU to piggyback on one of the few areas of marketing that has continued to grow despite the weak economy. Spending on cause sponsorships in the U.S. is expected to increase 3.1% this year to $1.57 billion … and is expected to grow faster than sports and arts sponsorships …

President of NBCU Women & Lifestyle Entertainment Networks, says the company has gotten “significant incremental” revenue from its health, environmental and women’s packages “heading toward” $100 million, on top of what it gets from the ordinary sale of ad time … The ad packages benefit NBCU because attracting ad revenue is a perennial problem for its broadcast network NBC … but NBC has had to make compromises to woo advertisers, such as being more open to working marketer’s brands into its shows and putting its stars in their ads

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Coke Makes An Innocent Investment

April 22, 2009

Excerpted from WSJ, “Coke Teams Up with Socially Focused Smoothie” By Aaron Patrick and Valerie Bauerlein, Apr 8, 2009

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Coca-Cola’s investment in British smoothie maker Innocent not only connects the beverage giant to a fast-growing product but also to a company known for good social and environmental behavior.

Coke said this week it will take a minority stake in London-based Innocent, which has quickly become one of Britain’s top brands by marketing its healthy ingredients and social commitment. By giving 10% of its profits to charity and using recycled bottles, Innocent was one of the first consumer brands launched in Britain to develop a big following through ethical marketing.

The investment … speaks to Coke’s continued interest in expanding beyond soft drinks and in owning small stakes in innovative companies … Founded 10 years ago, [Innocent] now has 82% of the U.K. smoothie market …

Innocent cuts a quirky public figure. Some of its trucks are covered in fake grass and daisies. Those trucks are mounted on hydraulics that make them appear to dance, with drop-down windows for giving away samples … The deal’s structure should allow Innocent to keep its funky attitude rather than risk being assimilated into a vast corporate culture whose focus remains carbonated soft drinks. Coca-Cola won’t have any management control over Innocent, but Innocent will share its expertise with the Atlanta-based beverage company …

The Coca-Cola money will be used to expand Innocent’s operations in Europe, where only 25% of European supermarkets sell smoothies … The money will be used to pay for distribution, stocking fees, sales staff and advertising …

While Innocent has run TV- and newspaper-ad campaigns, it has also specialized in less-traditional advertising. One of its ad agencies, Albion, created a board game for schools promoting the health benefits of fruit and vegetables. Some 200,000 people turned up to a Innocent musical concert in London named Fruitstock in 2006 …

Innocent’s charitable giving is also interactive. Volunteers knitted more than 506,000 little hats for smoothie bottles last year, which were then sold, raising £250,000 in proceeds to provide meals, blankets and other help for older people during the winter.

To be sure, Coke has been sporting its good deeds, expanding its recycling plants, reducing water consumption and using environmentally friendly coolants in vending machines and coolers But the 123-year-old company has been known to kill ads that were deemed too edgy and is vastly bigger and more buttoned-up than a closely held newcomer such as Innocent.

Coke appears to be embracing the model of taking a stake rather than buying outright, after previously struggling to integrate niche nonsoda companies … Coke has had more success with its 2001 purchase of Odwalla Inc., a maker of premium refrigerated fruit and vegetable juices whose product line is closest to Innocent’s line.

Innocent’s success helped drive all smoothie sales in the U.K. From 2003 to 2007, smoothie sales in the U.K. rose more than fivefold to £241 million …

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Buzzword: "Cause" Marketing

December 12, 2008

Excerpted from, “Cause Marketing Matters to Consumers”, by Kim T. Gordon, October 14, 2008

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In this new era of social responsibility, what you don’t do can cost you. “Cause marketing” is now the norm, and customers who visit your website and see your advertising want to know that you share their desire to make the world a better place by supporting an important cause.

If your business or brand doesn’t stand for a cause, consumers may turn to your competitors. The number of consumers who say they would switch from one brand to another if the other brand were associated with a good cause has climbed to 87 percent, a dramatic increase in recent years, according to a Cone Cause Evolution Survey.

Even niche markets, such as the nation’s college students, now show a striking preference for brands they believe to be socially responsible. According to a newly released College Explorer study from Alloy Media, nearly 95 percent of students say they are less likely to ignore an ad that promotes a brand’s partnership with a cause.

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The challenge is to make your socially responsible efforts a winning proposition for the nonprofit group you support, the community and your business. You can master this marketing challenge by following these important steps:

– Choose a related cause: A solid cause-marketing campaign often starts with the right affiliation. So as you go through the nonprofit selection process, look for a cause that relates to your company or its products.

– Contribute more than dollars: For many types of businesses, cause marketing involves donating products or services and not simply writing a check. This can help form even stronger consumer associations between what you offer and the good work you do.

– Formalize your affiliation: To make your affiliation a win-win for everyone, work with the nonprofit you choose to define how it will help your business increase its visibility, brand or company awareness. If the organization has a newsletter or other communications with its constituents, negotiate for opportunities to do joint promotions. Discuss how you will use the organization’s logo and name in your marketing campaigns, and how it, in turn, will use your company logo and name in its press releases, on the organization’s website and in other materials.

– Mount a marketing campaign: Success in cause marketing often means motivating an audience to take action, such as making a donation or participating in an event.. Using a dedicated marketing campaign, you can reach and persuade the target group while also raising awareness for your business and its commitment to social responsibility.

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