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Cause Marketing

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

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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…

Read more

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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Detroit’s Gamble Could Be the PR Move Motor City Needs

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Is this Detroit’s final bet for a fixed city?

Back in December, we brought you a story concerning the dire need for PR in Detroit. A plea to the public may be the only thing to rescue this once thriving epicenter of commerce and really fine music.

The government has failed it. The auto industry has failed it. And now the folks of Detroit are $18 million in debt with only one ironic source of hope — gambling.

According to the Wall Street JournalDetroit’s three casinos pull in some nice coin, which is what was offered as collateral in the 2009 negotiations with some big banks to secure lower interest rates on its excruciating debt. And that forces us to re-ask the same question: where is the PR?

Read more

George R. R. Martin’s Epic Charity Campaign Going Strong

Win A Wolf Sanctuary Tour and Helicopter Ride with George R.R. Martin - YouTubeWho better to raise money for a wolf sanctuary than the resurrector of direwolves himself, George R. R. Martin? And what better way to encourage donations than to offer fans a chance to die at the author’s hands like so many of their beloved characters (not to mention the dozens of extras who died during last night’s half-hour battle)?

So far, over $300,000 has been raised by Martin’s four-day-old campaign to support the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary and The Food Depot of Santa Fe, and two people have already won the highest honor (their very own grisly deaths being written into the next book) by each donating $20,000 to the cause. But if you couldn’t quite afford such a hefty sum, fret not!

With just over $150,000 to go before Martin’s $500,000 goal is met, there are still some epic prizes up for grabs as of this writing, including a hand-written thank-you note ($1,200 donation), a signed and dedicated Game of Thrones book ($600 donation), and T-shirts and other memorabilia for smaller donations. Plus, each donor is automatically entered to win the grand prize: a helicopter ride to the wolf sanctuary with the famed author himself. Martin describes the future excursion this way: Read more

LeVar Burton’s ‘Reading Rainbow’ Kickstarter Already Exceeding its Goal

LeVar Burton wants the web to save reading and _Reading Rainbow_ | The Verge

Just like it always did, “Reading Rainbow” is counting on “viewers like you” to bring access to books and excitement about reading to children across America. And “you” are seriously stepping up to the fundraising plate.

By now, you’ve likely heard that the classic show’s longtime host, LeVar Burton (who may have been our childhood hero), has taken to crowdsourcing website Kickstarter to fund the resurrection of “Reading Rainbow” in a new, web-based format that would bring an unlimited library to kids everywhere and schools most in need.

Though Burton launched a successful Reading Rainbow tablet App two years ago, he points out that not every child has access to tablets, either at home or at school, but 97% of American children have web access. As the Kickstarter page explains: Read more

Is Coca-Cola’s New Ad with Exploited Workers ‘The Real Thing’ or a Fake PR Stunt?

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Sure, they look happy. It’s possible they don’t know they’re being used for PR brownie points.

When some global companies — from car manufacturers to retail developers — spend millions of dollars on advertising, there is always a “one-upsmanship” that exists in whiteboard and brainstorm meetings. Forget the wheel. They want to reinvent an entirely new mode of transportation with every new campaign.

Coca-Cola is known for that happy-happy-joy-joy advertising. From cutesy polar bears sucking down caffeine to legendary football players throwing their stank jersey at a child football fan, Coke has come up with iconic advertisements. Why they can’t be happy with that success is beyond me. Maybe that’s why I’m in the perception, earned media rather than pleasure, paid media.

Speaking of perception, there’s also this commercial where Coke is shown exploiting the plight of slave workers in Dubai. Yeah, this happened…

Read more

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