Cause-Related Marketing

Bribing Consumer Loyalty

The Edelman PR firm recently conducted a survey to find out what keeps consumers loyal to a name brand in challenging economic times. They found that "the trick is to forge a 'double-value' for a product by developing a tie-in to a social cause." Cause-related marketing can be a powerful marketing technique. The environment, health, poverty and education were the top causes likely to inspire consumer loyalty.

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Pinkwashing: Can Shopping Cure Breast Cancer?

pink ribbon magnetYou've heard the term "greenwashing." It refers to corporations that try to appear "green" without reducing their negative impact on the environment.

Since 2002, the group Breast Cancer Action has promoted its "Think Before You Pink" campaign. It's fighting "pinkwashing," which is when corporations try to boost sales by associating their products with the fight against breast cancer. Pinkwashing is a form of slacktivism -- a campaign that makes people feel like they're helping solve a problem, while they're actually doing more to boost corporate profits. Pinkwashing has been around for a while, but is now reaching almost unbelievable levels.

What's Green on the Outside and Has a Hummer on the Inside?

Can you green a Hummer?Discovery Communications is spending $100 million to re-make its home television network into "Planet Green," the first television channel devoted entirely to environmentally-themed programming.

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Corporate-Sponsored "Slacktivism": Bigger and More Dangerous than the Urban Dictionary Realizes

Recently while browsing the Web I came across UrbanDictionary.com, which is sort of a wiki of contemporary slang. I found some of the newer words listed there amusing, like "hobosexual" (the opposite of metrosexual; someone who cares little about their looks), "consumerican," ("a particularly American brand of consumerism"), and "wikidemia" ("an academic work passed off as scholarly yet researched entirely on Wikipedia").

Tiger Woods Caddies for Chevron

In early April, the global oil company Chevron announced that it has entered into a five-year deal with the foundation created by the professional golfer, Tiger Woods. Woods proclaimed that "Chevron has a track record and a commitment to bettering the communities where they operate." Chevron's record, such as its partnership with the Burmese military dictatorship on the Yandana gas pipeline is "certainly nothing with which Woods should want his name attached," writes Dave Zirin in The Nation.

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Healthcare Privacy Laws Quietly Assist Fundraising

stethoscope on walletWhen a patient checks into a hospital or goes to see a doctor, they are typically handed a booklet called "Notice of Privacy Practices" and are asked to sign a document acknowledging that they received the information. Patients assume that these "privacy practices" are in place to protect their personal information and that doctors and hospitals will keep their information in strictest confidence.

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Less Cause, More Marketing for Unilever

Dove Product FinderIn 2004, the Unilever company Dove got lots of attention for using "ordinary-looking -- in some cases heavyset -- women in its ads for shampoos and beauty products.

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