The campaigns listed here are among the promotions I admire most — because the cause marketing itself is the consumer benefit.

Rather than spending media budget on traditional advertising, these companies have converted promotional spending into product feature enhancements.  Examples:

  • Boost Mobile stores became more than a place for low-income minorities to get prepaid phones when the stores were used as election-day polling places in under-served communities, in which access to voting is otherwise unequal and limited by hours-long lines.  Meanwhile, Boost Mobile attracted to its stores, and earned the gratitude of, the same people who are the target market of its no-contract, no credit check, wireless services.
  • Pantene became more than hair care products when its dad do (aka hairdo) videos and kit showed fathers how to use Pantene to spend quality time with their daughters, with the premise that father-daughter quality time increases the daughter’s self-confidence and self-reliance.

Note the cause beneficiary: the consumer.  That’s unlike most other cause marketing promotions, where the primary beneficiary is someone else. For instance, a typical cause marketing offer is constructed as: “If you buy product x, we’ll donate $5 to children in need, or to save the whales, or to victims of natural disasters.” In other words, your purchase triggers support for a cause other than you.

But, when cause marketing itself is the benefit, the customer (or prospective customer) is the direct beneficiary.

Lifebuoy 'Roti Reminder'

2019/11/12 0

Lifebuoy reminded festival attendees to wash their hands before eating by hand stamping 2.5 million chapattis with: “Did you wash your hands with Lifebuoy?”

Mawbima 'Mosquito-Repellent Newspaper'

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To help reduce dengue, a Sri Lankan newspaper (Mawbima) engaged in a week-long campaign to educate the public about how to reduce mosquito-borne illnesses. On the final day of National Dengue Week, Mawbima published the world’s first mosquito-repellent newspaper, by mixing its ink with citronella essence, a highly effective natural repellent.

MTV 'Sext Life'

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MTV’s Staying Alive Foundation created a ‘naughty’ PSA to encourage teens who sext to safe sext instead. The PSA promoted a free a condom emoji keyboard, along with the tagline: “Make foreplay a threesome: add a condom. Download the new condom emojis at”

OPSM 'Penny the Pirate'

2019/11/12 0

Eye care provider OPSM created Penny the Pirate. Available as a book and an app, Penny the Pirate is the first medical tool that helps Mom’s test their children’s vision as they read them a bedtime story. Kids are getting an eye test without even realizing it.

Pantene "Dad-Do"

2019/11/12 0

Pantene invents “dad-dos” (like hair-dos) to show that even macho dads can — and should — spend quality time with daughters to increases self-confidence.

Pantene 'Labels Against Women'

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Pantene’s ‘Labels Against Women’ ad exposes gender bias: Men and women are shown exhibiting the same behaviors but are labeled differently.

Perla Soft 'Protective Bucket'

2019/11/12 0

To prevent the spread of the Zika virus, Perla Soft distributed a laundry bucket with a compound made of Perla Soft fabric softener and Permethrin, a mosquito repellent.

Prudential 'Race for Retirement'

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The Prudential 4.01k Race for Retirement refers to itself as “The first ever run for a cause where the cause is you.” Instead of donating money, participants pledge to save more for retirement.

Uncle Ben's Beginners

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Uncle Ben’s wanted to “change the way that people think about rice.” The Ben’s Beginners Program positions rice as “a great starting ingredient for a healthy meal.”

Videocon 'Traffic Gaaye'

2019/11/12 0

Videocon Smartphone created The Traffic Gaaye, an initiative to help beat traffic jams on Delhi streets. With the help of local cow owners, Videocon attached special GPS transmitter collars around the necks of hundreds of cows, turning these road blocks into traffic guides.