Posted by Jennifer Sokolowsky on January 14, 2011 01:00 PM
Providing clean laundry may not immediately spring to mind when it comes to disaster relief efforts. But one year after the earthquake that devastated Haiti, Tide is releasing a documentary that shows the impact that its corporate citizenship commitment has made on a Haiti hospital and orphanage.
The brand's Loads of Hope program started in 2005 when Tide set up temporary mobile laundromats in New Orleans neighborhoods that were hard hit by Hurricane Katrina. The program has been taken to disaster areas across the U.S. by Tide ever since.
The film, called Espwa ("hope" in Creole), being shown on Tide's Facebook page, documents the program's first foray outside of the U.S., when it went to Haiti last summer to donate much-needed laundry rooms with washers and dryers to a hospital and an orphanage, both of which had relied on time-consuming and unhygienic hand-washing of clothes and linens.
The donated equipment, clearly, will make a long-lasting impact on both organizations. The film is narrated by Loads of Hope ambassador Faith Hill and a special screening will be held at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival.
When it comes to corporate charity, it's a fine line between blatant self-promotion and integrating social responsibility into the brand.
Tide's Loads of Hope program is both thoughtful, compassionate and clever in that it offers a unique service that is closely associated with the product.
The film works as well because, while there are plenty of Tide logos, the company's products themselves are never touted; it's the company's corporate social responsibility outreach and efforts, and (more importantly) the real results, that are spotlighted.
The viewer comes away with an appreciation for what a wonderful creation a laundry machine can be and applauding Tide's effort to make a change that will last.