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cause marketing

With No Trademark Protection, Ice Bucket Challenge is Open to All

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 2, 2014 05:12 PM

Bill Gates and Jennifer Lopez have done it. Martha Stewart and Donald Trump have, too. Your friends and neighbors have probably shown off their efforts on social media. Perhaps even you have done it.

“It,” of course, is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, the viral awareness campaign that has raised over $100 million towards research for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

The Challenge, which was briefly the focus of a US Patent and Trademark Office application that has since been pulled, is still going strong on social media channels around the globe, and in turn is inspiring other causes to attempt to adopt viral, "Challenge"-inspired campaigns.Continue reading...

viral buzz

It's On! How the Ice Bucket Challenge is Benefiting ALS—and Brands

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 15, 2014 04:57 PM

It’s an exclusive club and growing every day, but you might ask, what do New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Ethel Kennedy, Justin Timberlake and Martha Stewart all have in common?

They've all accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge, a viral social fundraiser for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, that is prompting a Who's Who of participants to dump buckets of ice water over their heads in the name of medical research. The social movement, which has benefited the US national ALS Association, asks participants to nominate three others or make a $100 donation to ALS within 24 hours of the nomination. And donating they are.

“If we look at donations Association-wide (which includes national and chapter revenue), our organization has received $9.5 million compared to $1.6 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 15)," an ALS Association spokesperson told brandchannel. “From July 29 to August 15, the national office of The ALS Association has received $6.7 million compared with $34,800 in donations during the same time period last year. These donations have come from existing donors and 184,812 new donors to The Association.”Continue reading...

brands with a cause

20th Century Fox Builds Social Cred After Filmmaker Uses Ad Budget for Disaster Relief

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 18, 2013 03:21 PM

Filmmaker Casey Neistat, of viral video hits such as Nike Fuelband's "Make It Count," was approached by 20th Century Fox to create a promo for the upcoming Ben Stiller movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, as part of their "Live Your Dream" global campaign promoting the film. 

But Neistat had a different plan. Instead of spending the company's $25,000 budget on a trailer, Neistat asked if he too could 'live his dream' to go to the Philippines to chronicle the devastation from Typhoon Haiyan. “We were completely moved," Bettina Sherick, 20th Century Fox senior VP-international digital strategic marketing, told Ad Age. "That he would forgo making anything on the movie to truly live out his dream to help the typhoon victims, well, to risk sounding corny, it was a true Mitty Moment." 

The budget provided over 10,000 meals to victims, tools to 35 of the worst hit villages, and medicine to local organizations.Continue reading...


After the Biggest Shopping Day of the Year, Consumerism Redeems Itself with #GivingTuesday

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 3, 2013 06:39 PM

The biggest shopping day of the year—Black Friday—has birthed a handful of shopping spinoffs, including a less than welcome Grey Thursday, Small Business Saturday, and the wildly successful Cyber Monday—and now in its second year—Giving Tuesday

Started last year as an antidote to the holiday weekend's retail madness by New York's 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation, #GivingTuesday has now gone global with organizations in Australia, Canada, Mexico and Singapore participating. More than 8,000 organizations have signed up to participate from all 50 US states—a marked increase from last year’s inaugural event that attracted over 2,500 organizations.

Some efforts from major brands include:Continue reading...

philanthropy brands

Batkid a Boon for San Francisco, Make-A-Wish—and Now to Pay It Forward

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 22, 2013 06:42 PM

A heartwarming event triggered a win-win situation for five year-old Miles Scott and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which earlier this week orchestrated a super hero-sized 'wish' that turned San Francisco into Gotham City and Scott into "Batkid."

Cruising the city in his Batmobile (a Lamborghini), Scott captured the hearts of millions following along on social media—even prompting a Vine video from President Obama.  

Miles recently finished chemotherapy treatment for leukemia, and his wish to be a crime-fighting superhero for a day is one for the books in how to pull-off a successful social media event with a little planning, a little savvy and a little moxie.

And while Scott's wish was perhaps unique, his is just one of thousands that the foundation grants every year. So why did this particular stunt grow to such viral proportions?Continue reading...

brands with a cause

Brands Get Hairy for Movember and Men's Health Awareness

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 5, 2013 07:15 PM

It's less than a week into November, but thousands of men across the globe are already starting to look a little scraggly. By the time the month is out, the once baby-faced male population will be donning full bears, fancy handlebar mustaches, or better yet, the Fu Manchu.

That's right: it's Movember–the global effort to raise awareness around various men's health issues. And just as brand's turned themselves pink last month for breast cancer awareness, plenty of brands are getting a little hairy to throw their support (and marketing dollars) behind the global cause. 

Movember, which grew out of a conversation between two pals in an Australian pub back in 2003, and raised $147 million last year, has grown out its whiskers into a full-blow branding beard. So much so that this year, the Just For Men haircolor brand has become an official sponsor, according to the New York Times.

“Here’s to the Movember mo bros, bravely growing mustaches to change the face of men’s health,” a voice-over says at the start of the brand’s new commercial. “They’ve never let gray mess with their mo.” Revenue from the sales of one product specially packaged for the month will go to the cause.Continue reading...

brands with a cause

Amazon Gets in the Giving Mood with Launch of AmazonSmile

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 31, 2013 01:46 PM

Amazon is betting that giving money away is a surefire way to make more money. Through their new website, AmazonSmile, the company will donate 0.5 percent of the price of eligible purchases to a charitable organization of your choice.

Customers can choose from close to one million charities ranging from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital to the American Red Cross, the Nature Conservancy and charity:water. And seemingly all of Amazon's tens of million of goods are elligible except digital items, including mp3s, video content and Kindle books. There is no max amount that Amazon will donate, either.  

“The upsides here are obvious,” notes TechCrunch. “With only a fraction of a fraction of each transaction being passed along to charities, Amazon still stands to make gobs of money, especially if this program manages to lift sales volumes in any appreciable way. And you can bet that Amazon is going to play up this charitable angle over time, a move that should only endear users to the process of buying their, well, everythings from the massive e-tailer.”Continue reading...

brand of crazy

Sheer Nerve? Lululemon Targets Local Dallas Charity for No Apparent Reason

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 30, 2013 04:41 PM

When life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade—not squirt the juice in your eyes. 

But Lululemon’s latest move in its NorthPark Center, Dallas store makes one wonder if the cult-like, eccentric yoga lifestyle brand subscribes to the age-old adage, "there is no such thing as bad publicity." 

Mall-goers noticed that the store adorned their front display window with a less-than-clever statement: "We do partners yoga, not partners card," referring to the annual, flagship fundraiser for The Family Place, a well-respected Dallas charity that gives support to battered women and children. A Partners Card can be purchased for $70—all of which is donated to the charity—and entitles users to a 20 percent discount at 750 partcipating area retailers through October and November—a list that does not include Lululemon.Continue reading...

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