Consumers look at cause-related promotions with the same cynicism that applies to any form of marketing. If they like the execution, they will like the promotion. A cause promo alone is not enough to inspire because it is too overdone. Consumers are bombarded by requests to give – at the office, over the phone, on TV, and on the street corner. A request to give on a jelly jar loses its ability to inspire.
- David Mullen, president and ceo, The Marketing Continuum, Inc., Dallas.
Consumers love charity programs, but don’t make them do anything out of the ordinary to participate. Our research also shows that schools love charity events, but they’re not ready for more UPC collection programs or handling more labels. Local programs tend to be far more compelling and credible than those with national scope.
- Chris Hauri, partner, The Grand Group, Chicago.
These promotions generally don’t motivate consumers to respond strongly one way or the other. They leave consumers uncertain as to exactly how much money or support is going toward the charity, since it usually isn’t quantified. They require a lot of media exposure to get off the ground, yet they are essentially passive promotions that count on building good will. They often don’t drive sales or have a tangible connection to the brand.
- Jerry Lee, president, Alliance Promotions, Inc., Roswell, GA.
The emotional appeals of cause promotions work as long as they are balanced with a practical value for the consumer.
Cause efforts centered on environment, education, social, and global concerns have the most pull with today’s younger consumer segments, who are most susceptible to this approach.
- Bernie Miller III, president, Columbian Advertising Inc., Chicago.