Can Popchips Wipe Slate Clean with Cause Marketing?


Popchips’ latest cause marketing effort comes on the heels of the brand’s politically-questionable gaffe by “president of pop” and company investor Ashton Kutcher, who portrayed five lovelorn men looking for love in a cross-platform campaign based around a dating video in which he depicted one of the candidates in brownface.

Kutcher’s caricature, of an Indian gent named Raj, “broke the cardinal rule of racial humor: If you’re going to make a joke about a race other than your own, for the love of God be funny about it,” as Gawker quipped.

Now the brand is literally trying to change the game with Gamechangers, a cause marketing campaign that’s centered on Facebook and Twitter with a full roster of athletes ready to help their local communities in a cause marketing campaign geared to brand redemption.[more]

“Help us change the game,” invites Popchips, “choose an athlete and vote for your favorite local charity,” such as Baron Davis, Matt Forte, Hope Solo and others. The Facebook app drives fans to the individual athlete’s Facebook page to vote , such as via a FB page app for Solo.

Popchips’ local Twitter feeds are promoting the various athletes, such as this message on Twitter promoting the Baron Davis tie-in with @popchipsNY — “thanks for all of your great #gamechangers ideas! @baron_davis is reviewing & will announce the winner friday!”

Can cause marketing trump racial insensitivity and put a brand back on its feet?