Are you shopping for a cause this holiday season?
They don’t call it the giving season for nothing. Around the holidays you see and hear it everywhere “Would you like to donate a dollar to ______ to help sick children today? It only takes a $5 donation to _______! Or, shop here! We’re a good organization! We support ________. ” That _____ has a name: cause marketing.
According to The Nonprofit Times, cause marketing, in a broad sense, is when “a nonprofit and for profit corporation partner together with the purpose of advancing the mission-related work of the nonprofit, and the marketing goals of the corporation.” We regularly see this through traditional cause-related marketing on a day-to-day basis (donation-with-purchase of a product/service), but it seems as though cause marketing during the holidays is especially pertinent.
Do you feel as though companies that don’t partake in cause marketing are more rare than those who do? This holiday season, Coca-cola is doing the opposite of advertising, while still partaking in cause-marketing. Confusing right? Well check this out.
Starting November 18th, Coca-Cola decided to cut all advertisement funds and donate the money that would be used for relief efforts in the Philippines from Typhoon Haiyan. The company still plans to partake in holiday ads soon, but the pathos link that the company is creating by helping out those devastated by the disaster is sure to boost sales. The company has raised $2.5 million for the relief already. Way to go, Coke.
So how about you? Does the pathos-oriented approach presented by cause-marketing make you more vulnerable to purchasing a product, or is it just expected now-a-days?
I had no idea that Coca Cola was doing this and I think it’s great. There are many “catches” to a company linking up with a nonprofit cause. Most of the time companies will spend more money telling people they’re donating than they actually donate. By pulling their multimillion dollar advertising campaigns, Coke is actually making a difference. I respect their bold move even more because they aren’t shoving it in everyone’s face; I didn’t know they were doing it until I saw this article and I am inspired by their humble actions.
I love that Coca Cola is doing this, and I love even more that they are not telling everyone about it. I am sure that people will find out little by little, but I can’t help to think that they are doing this because it is the “Right” thing to do. Whenever I go to a store and they ask me to donate a dollar for whatever their cause is, I always feel obligated to say yes, and if I say no, I feel like the cashier judges me. We should donate because we want to, not because we feel pressured or bullied. I believe that large multi-million dollar corporations should take the same approach, do it because you genuinely feel that you can help a particular cause, not because you want to gain something from it. Humility is a beautiful trait to possess.
It’s interesting to hear that Coke seems to be doing so much for the relief efforts of those in the Philippines. It definitely strikes the pathos side of the organization’s appeal. It’s difficult though, to do something nice with good intentions and not feel some sense of guilt at asking people to help, or for me in any case. I work at a retail store called Justice, and we currently are partnered with St. Jude’s Center for Cancer Research. Which is a great organization, but during every purchase we are now required to ask people if they would like to donate, and I hate that I make people uncomfortable when they have to say no. I like the idea of giving back and bettering a cause, but I wish organizations could make it more of a choice during the holidays, not an obligation.
That being said, maybe other large for-profit cooperation will take a hint from Coke and contribute their funds to help others more often.
I actually heard about this from a friend. Honestly, I think it is wonderful that a large corporation like Coca-Cola would take such an initiative to help others. Oftentimes it seems like we (consumers as a whole) are patronizing brands that only worry about their CEO’s holiday bonus. Although I have never been a hard core Coca-Cola fanatic, I do enjoy their products from time to time. My only hope is that their desire to help others is truly genuine instead of a sales increase scheme.