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Cause Marketing

Food Companies Using Their Farming Connections To Tackle Big Problems


Lost amid a good deal of the talk about the wave of unaccompanied immigrant children who have crossed the southern border into the US are the children themselves and the circumstances that drove them to take a lonely, frightening and perilous journey on their own.

Coffee company Kenco is using some of its marketing effort to talk about its work in Honduras to counter the deadly gang culture that has overtaken San Pedro Sula and other areas around that country. They’ve created the clip above to talk up the program, “Coffee vs Gangs,” that will teach 20 Honduran children how to be coffee farmers. And they will publish regular updates to let people know about the progress the selected kids are making.

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Downton Abbey’s Classy, Charitable Response to ‘Water Bottle-Gate’

By now, you’ve probably seen the promotional image for Downton Abbey that’s had fans, history purists, and the internet in general in a multi-day frenzy, but in case you haven’t, here it is — out-of-place plastic water bottle and all:

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In response to the media madness, the cast of the hit show has released another image, and this one is chock-full of water bottles. Only this time, their presence is intentional, and intended to refocus the public’s attention on a worthy issue.

A spokesperson for British TV network ITV explained, “After seeing the reaction the picture caused earlier this week, the cast and crew came up with the idea of turning some of this attention towards an issue around water that really matters. They hope that by posing for this picture they will be able to raise awareness and amplify the work of international charity – WaterAid.”

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WaterAid is a charitable organization that has spent decades bringing water, sanitation and hygiene education to where it’s needed most.

Barbara Frost, Chief Executive of WaterAid, said: Read more

Tony Hale of Veep Impresses the Ladies by Standing Up to Cancer

In Celebrity Cause Marketing news, today witnessed the debut of a spot promoting hotel search engine RoomKey and its Stand Up to Cancer initiative via Hungry Man Productions and Emmy winner Tony “Don’t Call Me Buster” Hale.

We very much like the fact that the spot satirizes the driving force behind most cause marketing campaigns (and, if we’re being honest, most charities): self-satisfaction mixed with a little third-party validation.

For the record, we hope more cause campaigns embrace this tone of self-awareness. It’s much more appealing than the guilt trip that fuels so many such initiatives.

Now, in case you doubted Mr. Hale’s acting prowess, click through for a clip of him promoting a very different kind of product…

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Batkid Begins Trailer Brings Make-a-Wish Hero to the Big Screen

The tiny hero who launched a million* tweets is headed for the big screen.

In case you missed it (yeah right), #SFBatkid was the hashtag of the fall, scoring a whole hell of a lot of attention for sponsor Make-a-Wish, the city of San Francisco and partner-in-crime social media agency Clever Girls Collective.

Now, as revealed at Comic-Con this weekend, social media superhero Miles Scott will soon hit the big–or at least bigger–screen via Batkid Begins, a “feature-length crowdfunded documentary”; the trailer debuted online yesterday.

It’s quite a cinematic effort from “award-winning filmmaker Dana Nachman (Witch Hunt)”, who has raised “$45,500 of a $100K goal to date” in an ongoing Indiegogo campaign. This looks like another big win for both Miles and Make-a-Wish; does anyone doubt that Nachman will reach her goal?

Also: whoa there, Chris Taylor of Mashable. Don’t dive too deeply into our psyches.

One thing we know for sure: this clip will give you a more positive Monday morning buzz than the new Mockingjay trailer.

*Well, 400K tweets. But still.

Target Is Using Philanthropy to Make Back-To-School Better Than the Holiday Season

targetThe holiday shopping season certainly wasn’t good to Target. Perhaps a little too eager to put that in the past, the retailer is already focusing on the back-to-school season. Not even a week after the 4th of July.

To get its mojo back post-data breach, Target is launching a campaign focused on social responsibility — Buy One, Give One — that will give one of Target’s brand of up & up school supply items to a student in need for every purchase made between July 13 and August 2. Items like crayons and paper will be included, more than 300 products in total. The goal is to donate $25 million worth of things to Kids in Need.

“If we reach that goal, this will be the largest cause campaign donation Target has ever made to a single organization; an important milestone on our way to giving $1 billion for education by the end of 2015,” reads the press release about the program.

This is great. The company points out that parents are spending an average of $600 on back-to-school shopping each year, a steep price for many people. But it doesn’t really address the whole data-breach, digital-security thing. Read more

Reading Rainbow Kickstarter Raises $6 Million Thanks to ‘Viewers Like You’ (and Seth MacFarlane)

When we first told you about LeVar Burton‘s Kickstarter campaign to resurrect Reading Rainbow in a web-based format aimed at giving classrooms and kids everywhere access to an unlimited library, the fundraising goal was to reach $1 million by the second of July. Only a few days into the campaign, on May 29th, the campaign had already exceeded that goal. Overwhelmed and inspired by the support, Burton then decided to shoot for a “stretch goal” of $5 million.

As of this writing, with five hours left in the campaign, over $5,150,000 has been raised. Factor in comedian Seth MacFarlane‘s recent pledge to donate another million all by his lonesome, and Burton is looking at well over $6 million.

So what does exceeding the goal mean for Reading Rainbow?

A colorful GIF (below) explains exactly what the extra money will allow Reading Rainbow to do, including the creation of mobile apps and free subscriptions for thousands of in-need classrooms. And since there’s still time to donate, the Kickstarter page currently has this promise posted: “We have reached our $5M stretch goal and can help 7,500+ classrooms. Now, EVERY $100K helps another 500+ classrooms!”

Is it too early in the year to call this the greatest Kickstarter campaign of 2014? Possibly. But that’s not going to stop this PRNewser writer/bookworm/library enthusiast/childhood-Burton-admirer from declaring it so.

 

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Always Asks Followers to Help Redefine the Phrase ‘Like a Girl’

Sheryl Sandberg’s “Ban Bossy” campaign got a lot of media attention earlier this year, but its real-world effects felt limited. A study by online community SheSpeaks seemed to contradict some of the main points of the campaign: its participants said that they felt a perception of “bossiness” could be just as damaging to a man’s career as a woman’s.

Now Always, ad agency Leo Burnett, PR AOR MSL Group and documentary director Lauren Greenfield (“Queen of Versailles”) have teamed up to offer a different take on hurtful phrases and what they mean to young women. This spot launched today:

Like most recent campaigns, this one is very much multi-media. It started with a unsurprising survey:

  • 56% of young women experience a drop in confidence at puberty
  • Most see “like a girl” as a derogatory phrase

Always is using its social platforms to spread the campaign’s influence via user-generated content, encouraging followers to share pics and videos to illustrate their takes on what “like a girl” really means. Will it be more influential than “Ban Bossy?”

This spot may not include a guest appearance by Beyonce, but based on all the recent reports about the power of social influencers, we’re optimistic.

Betty Crocker Redefines ‘Homemaker’ and Re-Brands as Champion of Marriage Equality

Notification CenterThe Betty Crocker brand released its first cookbook in 1942, targeting its tips, tricks and recipes toward the American homemaker — i.e. stay-at-home wives and mothers. Jump ahead to 2014, and the traditional idea of what an American family looks like and how a household is run no longer applies in the majority of cases, so rather than being left in the dust with its old-fashioned sentiments, Betty Crocker is not only transforming itself to embrace the diversity of the modern American family, but is actively pushing for recognition, understanding, and support for families of all kinds.

In its latest ad (after the jump), the brand states that “Marraige and family have changed more in the last 35 years than in the last 350.” For instance, “less than half of all American households contain a husband and wife; the number of same-sex couples living together in the US has increased by 80 percent since 2000; since 1965, the time dads spend with their kids has tripled; 40% of women are the primary providers for their families; and the percentage of new interracial marriages is six times what it was in 1960.”

The commercial goes on to point out, however, that every family, no matter the demographic differences, has something in common: where there is love, there is a family, where there is a family, there is a home, and “at the heart of every home is a homemaker.” The brand even acknowledges that term itself may seem outdated, but the concept actually isn’t; you don’t need to identify yourself as a homemaker to be one — if you are a loving member of a family who actively works to make your house a home, guess what? You’re a homemaker, and Betty Crocker is here to support you.

This is some seriously compelling re-definition and branding. Read more

Greenpeace Not So Good with the Green Stuff

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Today in News We Missed: last week, leaked documents revealed that nonprofit Greenpeace International isn’t the best when it comes to handling its own finances.

The organization issued an official apology to its many small-time donors for a currency exchange error/financial bet that led to the loss of more than 3.8 million euros.

That’s not all, though…

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Affordable Hearing Aids: A Crowdsourcing Case Study

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Crowdsourced funding is a mainstay among startups, but there’s a subtle art to it–and by its nature it’s never a sure thing.

A company called iHear recently completed a very successful crowdsourcing effort; president Adnan Shenib wrote that the company’s “Indiegogo campaign…resulted in achieving more than 3 times our initial goal” thanks, at least in part, to the “successful placement of key articles and interviews.”

We spoke to Jonathan Abramson, president and founder of iHear AOR bluetone Marketing & Public Relations, to learn more.

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