Cause marketing campaigns There’s a reason ‘marketing’ is part of cause marketing. In August 2014, the ALS Association released a statement on the 2014 Ice Bucket Challenge – the social media-powered video challenge, where participants poured a bucket of ice water on their heads and dared others to donate for the cause. In the statement they reported, “As of Wednesday, 27 August , the ALS Association has received $94.3m in donations compared to $2.7m during the same [month-long] time period last year.” This is an astonishing 3,000 per cent increase ($2.7m to $94.3m) because of a ‘lightweight campaign’. The increase in donations, which the ALS attributed heavily to the Ice Bucket Challenge, included those from an incredible 2.1m new donors taking action for the first time. The combination of competitiveness, social media pressure, online narcissism, and low barriers to entry led to more than 2.4m tagged videos circulating Facebook. In an age when social media has made us even more aware of how we look at any given moment, asking women to take photos of themselves without makeup and upload them to social channels seems risky. The #nomakeupselfie campaign, which began with people posting images of themselves without make up on social networks, wasn’t started by Cancer Research but their social media team quickly got involved and asked people to donate via text. The campaign raised £8m in just one week. This kind of grassroots viral campaign is impossible to replicate but charities of all sizes can position themselves to take advantage of the next social media phenomenon by responding rapidly and creating a sense of community around the movement. The next generation of cause marketing is an actual innovative “cause product”
Pavegen is a pioneering technology company founded in 2009 that creates flooring that harnesses the energy of footsteps. The technology has been installed in over 100 projects in more than 30 countries and can be found in train stations, shopping centres, airports and public spaces. Led by millennial founder Laurence Kemball-Cook, the company has created a product looking straight into our more sustainable and CSR responsible future. Pavegen’s largest installation to date is in partnership with Shell, in a local football pitch in Morro da Mineira, Rio de Janeiro. Pavegen tiles work day and night alongside solar panels to power the lights for up to ten hours on a full battery, creating the world’s first ever people-powered football pitch. This first of a kind energy solution is a source of global inspiration, empowering action through sport as well as providing a tangible off-grid power supply that benefits a whole community. Their success and support was imminent starting from their crowdfunding campaign whereby their £750,000 target was reached in just 59 hours of going live and raising a total of £1.92m from 1,500 online investors.
To be effective, companies must not only create meaningful, sustainable cause-related programs, but also consistently engage millennials and clearly communicate the impact of those campaigns. Millennials are more likely to pay attention to a company’s message if that company has a deep commitment to a cause, but in order for that message to resonate with millennials, the commitment needs to be authentic and relevant to both the brand and the consumer. Viktoria de Chevron Villette is the co-founder of Millennial 20/20. The Millennial 20/20 Summit is the world’s first gathering of brands, businesses and industry leaders who target the millennial generation. The inaugural event will take place in London on the 13-14 April 2016, at B1, Victoria House, Bloomsbury in London. Over the two-day period, Millennial 20/20 will host over 150 speakers, 40 interactive and experiential showcases, 50 panel discussions, 24 keynote presentations and interviews. With four dedicated industry tracks of fashion and beauty, food and beverage, travel and hospitality, and sport and fitness, Millennial 2020 will feature highly curated and challenging discussions across eleven pillars; marketing, retail, design, mobile, payments, video, social, ecommerce, CRM, big data and merchandising.
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