Monday, August 4, 2008

Cause marketing partnerships

What is cause marketing?

Cause-related marketing is a partnership between a for-profit and a nonprofit where each has something to offer the other, and both realize a benefit. Selecting the right partner can result in added revenue, media exposure and great PR. American Express' campaign for the Statue of Liberty restoration project in the early 1980's was the first major cause marketing effort.

Partners should have a natural affinity with each other. But are all cause marketing partnerships a good thing? According to a July 24th CSPI newsroom web site article they don't think so. Girl Scouts of America's partnership with Dairy Queen is under heavy attack. While a thin mint blizzard sounds like a good idea, and delicious too, the facts about the product and what Girl Scouts stand for don't really match.

The large sized Thin Mint Cookie Blizzard from Dairy Queen weighs more than a pound, has more than 1,000 calories, 31 teaspoons of sugars, and provides more than a day’s saturated fat. Yikes!

Girl Scouts may be reaching a new audience but at what price. CSPI thinks the partnership doesn't match with the Girl Scouts’ mission, and this product and its marketing campaign deliver a very unhealthful message to young girls and others. If others feel this way, this might not be a great cause marketing partnership after all.

Some examples of good cause marketing partnerships:

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