Tuesday, March 3, 2009

How Droga5’s TAP Project Could Be Better

It’s hard for me to criticize Droga5’s TAP Project campaign, now going on it’s 3rd year. I wish I had worked on it. It’s a simple, elegant stroke of genius that makes it easy for millions of people to help the world. (If you’re not familiar with this campaign, it asks restaurant patrons to donate one dollar for tap water, which is then used to provide clean water in countries that need it. It’s become a gigantic success.)

For me, this has become the model for the ultimate societal marketing campaign, except – it’s actually a Cause Marketing campaign (and a great model for other cause marketing efforts as well). What I mean is, the client is Unicef, a non-profit, a brand that isn’t mentioned in the campaign much, and a brand that doesn’t have a lot of means to spur the engines of consumer action. (That’s part of the brilliance of the campaign, that it does so much with so little.)

The thinking behind this campaign is astounding – the kind of thinking that could benefit other clients, even regular consumer brands. Imagine if PUR water filters had participated in this campaign, dollar matching the first million glasses “sold.” Suddenly, the message is “PUR helps tap water do great things. They believe in the potential of tap water.” Etc.

I’m not suggesting that a consumer brand get involved with the Tap Project. (Because honestly, I don’t think the Tap Project campaign could be any better. I only hope it gets bigger.) What I am suggesting is that other consumer brands invent their own ways to mobilize customers in a unified effort to help in a cause that’s aligned with their business. It’s very possible to build in sales incentives too.

It may sound crass, tying giving to sales, but think of the funding that normally goes toward regular marketing. Most of that money doesn’t benefit anyone. But if that campaign also benefited a cause? Imagine the impact.

Imagine how much people would like that brand.

I can hear the Marketing Managers scream, “We’re not a charity, damn it!”

Listen, if you don’t see how this kind of thinking can increase your sales, increase your revenues, solidify your positioning, increase your brand loyalty, and increase your bottom line, then you need to use a little imagination. I'm reading: How Droga5’s TAP Project Could Be BetterTweet this!

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