Friday, February 27, 2009

You Don’t Have To Be Crispin To Get The Coen Brothers To Direct Your Commercial

Okay, this is really more like political advertising, or Cause Marketing, but still. I would kill to get the Coen bros to direct something I wrote. And as it turns out, they care about stuff! Like the environment! Let’s do some math.

Odds of a famous director shooting your commercial about a product: 1%.

Odds of a famous director shooting your commercial about a product if you’re Crispin: 2%.

Odds of a famous director shooting your commercial about a product that helps the planet in some way: 32%.

People put their talent behind causes. And if a company has a cause, then they have a leg up on attracting talent.

Read more, here.
You can see the spot here.

I love Crispin’s work as much as anyone, but this spot left me flat. I don't blame the Coen’s. (I love them more than Crispin.) I think it's because in the end this is another parody campaign. It's very appropriate for this client/cause since it's a bit of an anti-marketing message, but we've seen parodies a lot.

This, however, is brilliant:

“Carrotmobs:” Good Marketing + Social Media = a Strange World

San Francisco is full of damn dirty hippies (aka, “enlightened consumers”), and that’s not only awesome, it just might be the future of marketing.

Say hello to “Carrotmobs,” groups the Economist describes as “crowds of activists who buy everything in the winning shop in a contest between retailers to be the greenest.” Imagine that. Some little retailer who's stocked with Hemp candle holders suddenly sells out in one hour. Or something like that. And of course, today’s enlightened consumers are connected online, making them approachable by new “eco-startups.” One such firm is called Virgance, which combines “a volunteer network (‘boots on the ground’), an ‘activism presence in Facebook,’ a team of paid bloggers who promote Virgance campaigns, and YouTube videos supporting its causes.”

It's good to share values with the people you're trying to reach. They just might mob your carrots.

Check out the Economist article HERE .

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Macy’s Christmas 2008, “Yes, There is a Santa Claus”

Welcome to M+G Historical Edition, taking us back about 4 months. I had to get this in before it was too long past, because it’s a solid example of Societal Marketing. The editor of Adweek Barbara Lippert said that the use of celebrities seemed “random.” And I agree, but I forgive them a little.

Getting kids to come in to the store to drop off letters to Santa, the store gets traffic. Helping parents prove the myth of Santa to their kids, the parents win. Donating to the Make A Wish Foundation, the world’s a little better. (Perfect, strategically-chosen charity.)

The celebrities are borrowed interest, and the creative is a little puzzling, but the message is clear. The most famous department store in the country banked its Q4 on Marketing+Good. And this was one of the top 10 most loved commercials of the season.

And as always, if you see a Marketing+Good campaign out there worth talking about, let us know!

Good + the Profit Motive: Can Richard Branson Save the Economy?

From Fast Company today, “Like a team of financial Superfriends, Lending Club offers personal loans through a peer-to-peer model, Virgin Money (yes, a pro-social for-profit offshoot of the Branson empire) has peer-to-peer mortgage financing…”

Described as “holistic” and “grass-roots,” this so-called Lending Club helps citizens help each other. I’m skeptical because Sir Richard Branson loves making money too much to be truly altruistic. But that’s the point – once companies realize that doing Good can be very, very profitable, there’s no telling what can be accomplished.

Here's the article.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Saving Dogs Sells: the Pedigree Adoption Drive

This is a perfect example of Societal Marketing. It's strategically aligned with customer values, it builds huge brand loyalty, it gives people a real reason to buy, it breaks parity, it elevates the conversation. Helping dogs, and helping sales.
The campaign started on a serious note. It was so successful, they kept it going. The creative evolved into - gasp - humor.
From TBWA/Chiat Day LA.

(Full credits here).

If anyone knows the story about the origin of this campaign idea, I'd love to hear it.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What is “Societal Marketing?” (the birth of a blog)

There are a lot of terms floating around out there when companies refer to doing something good. So, to explain Societal Marketing, let’s first discuss what it’s not.

It’s not Corporate Sustainability, which is: “the practice of a company to lower its operational impact on the earth.”

It’s not Green Marketing: “the incorporation of earth-friendly benefits in a marketing program,” although Green Marketing is certainly one form of Societal Marketing.

Rather, Societal Marketing is the incorporation of a charitable end into a marketing program, be it a Green cause, an educational cause, a disaster relief cause, a hunger cause, etc.

But Societal Marketing is not Social Marketing (aka, Cause Marketing). The difference is, Societal Marketing has a goal of increasing product sales, not simply altruism. (Wikipedia has some nice definitions.)

I call it “Marketing + Good,” since Societal Marketing starts with the same goal as any marketing effort, but adds the benefit of making the world a better place. That combination is becoming more powerful than ever, resonating with today’s well-intended, globally-aware consumer. In fact, it’s often a more powerful driver of consumer decisions than price. People are willing to pay a fraction more for the feeling that their purchase will help a cause they care about. Societal Marketing leverages the emotional power of Cause Marketing on behalf of a consumer brand.

In my humble opinion, if a Societal Marketing campaign is structured well, success is three-fold. One is sales. Two, it makes the world a better place. And three, it creates brand loyalty by aligning values with the customer.

In these pages, I hope to showcase some great “Marketing+Good” work being done currently by leading agencies and brands. (And since I come from the creative side, I’ll definitely speak up – or not post – if it sucks.) By all means, send me campaigns you think fit the bill.