Monday, September 28, 2009

Macy’s: Have Your Celebrity Friends For Dinner

It’s an embarrassment of riches when Macy’s does good. Martha, Tommy Hilfiger, Emeril, “The Donald”, Jessica Simpson, Usher, Queen Latifa, the list goes on and on. And on. For 45 seconds, including some strange camera work, and distracting inside jokes. Until finally … we learn that this is for charity.

Macy’s invites us to host a party, and somehow the proceeds will help Feeding America. (Score another coup for those guys – the charity du jour. And that’s all the French I know.)

The website is robust, and puts the star power to better use, making it more clear exactly how I can get involved. Oddly, the “big day” – Oct. 17 – is buried under Tommy Hilfiger’s section. That’s the day they’ve designated for their Shop For A Cause program.

But no matter many layers they’ve piled on top of the details, the results are impressive.

Over $28 million dollars will be donated through Shop For A Cause day.

Over 30 million meals will be donated through Feeding America.

And over 40 million A-list celebrities will be featured in each TV commercial. Oh wait. That last stat is just a little off.

I’m sure Macy’s is also running their “sale sale sale!” TV spots to move product, but this campaign builds the brand. And apparently, it’s a star-studded, big-hearted brand indeed.

Why would anyone go to Dillard’s?

(PS – "So, what’s with the Beatles track?” Yes, they are using Come Together in TV and online, and yes, The Beatles have always been notoriously litigious and short-leashed when (not) licensing their music to commercial ventures. And here it is; Macy’s rocking the opening track off of Abbey Road. Think they could’ve gotten that track for a one-day-sales event? Heck no. And THAT, gentle reader, is a pretty sweet by-product of adding some good to your marketing. Beatles tracks.)

(PPS - I believe the agency is still JWT Chicago? Please comment below to confirm or deny. Thanks!)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The GoodWorks Effie

The Effies are a weird award for creatives. Because the winners don't need to necessarily be the most breakthrough or well-crafted creative; it just needs to be "effective." Historically, the winners have been a mixed bag - some great, some not. Regardless, it's a very cool trend to see the big award shows are recognizing "Good" campaigns. Here's what the GoodWorks Effie is all about, straight from their website.

"The lines between brand marketing and a company’s reputation are blurring. Those that lead with a strong social conscience through the likes of sustainable business practices and philanthropic initiatives will succeed.

To highlight this notion that you can do well by doing good, and that great branding and good deeds are increasingly interwoven, Advertising Age has launched GoodWorks — a blog to highlight developments in corporate social responsibility and cause marketing as well as recognizing individual good works.

As part of the GoodWorks initiative and to further promote such efforts, Advertising Age and Effie Worldwide are partnering on a new Effie Award to recognize and promote the idea of doing well by doing good – The GoodWorks Effie.

The GoodWorks Effie is for communications programs proven effective in addressing a social problem or in expanding an existing program in ways that benefit our society or our planet. Any effort that sets out to give back in some way for the greater good is eligible to enter.

Maybe it was for profit, maybe not. Maybe you got paid, maybe you didn’t. Any and all marketing communications efforts, whether full campaigns or unique efforts within a campaign are eligible to enter as long as measurable results exist.

GoodWorks Effie – Brands/Companies
For marketing communications efforts undertaken by for-profit entities that are ‘doing well by doing good.’

Examples of campaigns that would have been eligible for this award include:

- Pedigree, Echo
- Walmart, PSP 2007: Personal Sustainability Project
- Häagen-Dazs, Häagen-Dazs Loves Honey Bees

GoodWorks Effie – Non-Profit
Designed for communications of a public service nature for a non-profit organization or association, including political messages and special interest/trade group communications.

Examples of campaigns that would have been eligible for this award include:

- Oregon Humane Society,End Petlessness Campaign
- Autism Speaks, Odds Campaign

Effie is an award for effective marketing communications. It is not our place to say, for example, that fighting cystic fibrosis is more or less important than working to end urban violence. Like all other Effies, what will be judged and measured is the effectiveness of the communications program created. All GoodWorks entries will undergo the same rigor of evaluation as other Effie entries do.

The GoodWorks competition will run in conjunction with the North American Effie program and will adhere to the same deadlines. The Call For Entries period will kick off on October 14th and officially close on Wednesday, November 4, 2009.
Download the 2010 Entry Kit here.

The GoodWorks-Brand Effie will have a flat fee of $785 per entry.
The GoodWorks-Non-Profit Effie has a flat fee of $385.
As a courtesy to this unique award, the Effies will not be implementing a late fee structure on GoodWorks entries.

All GoodWorks entries will be judged by handpicked, highly experienced industry professionals from around the country. Entries will go through a rigorous first round of judging and those that receive the highest scores will move on to the final round.

Winners will be announced and awarded at a special cocktail reception in February 2010.

Perhaps you have questions regarding the GoodWorks Effie?
Contact us directly via email at or call us at 212-687-3280 ext. 228.

Would you like to suggest a “goodwork” for a GoodWorks Effie Award?
Please Click Here to Submit Your Recommendation and we will reach out to them with all the entry details.

We look forward to celebrating your good works in coming months."

This follows the announcement by the One Club/One Show of their "Green Pencil" award, which you can read about HERE.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Yoplait and Breasts. (Advantage: Breasts)

This clip has already taken its swift lap around the interwebs, but I thought I’d chime in with a thought about balance. (First, let me say that I think this program is fantastic. The target and the cause align really well, and Yoplait will make lots of fans with this effort, I’m sure.)

I think this is 95% awesome, and really only falls down a bit in the balance of the creative. Don’t get me wrong, this spot is simple, clear, plenty edgy for their Gen Y target, and obviously it's compelling enough to get forwarded around the ad blogs, so I think it’s succeeding in a big way.

And I love the way they’re involving consumers (even though it’s not tied to purchase); “For every pledge received by October 31, 2009, Yoplait will donate 10 cents to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, up to $100,000.”

If I were to nit-pick (everyone’s a critic, right), it would be about losing the brand.

This is a great campaign for breast cancer, though I do wish it worked harder for Yoplait. They’ve almost relegated their own brand to sponsorship status (with the exception of the smart URL

Creatively, the lesson here is, if you’re a big brand putting a spotlight on a great cause, don’t get off the stage too much.

(For an example, check out how the brand shares the spotlight in THIS campaign.)

(Thanks to the Cone agency for doing this great work, and spreading the news about it. Kudos.)

(Oh, and please do take the YoplaitPledge on Facebook, HERE

Monday, September 14, 2009

T-mobile (Germany) Does Good

This looks like the kind of spot that should be running worldwide. T-Mobile Deutschland (aka, Deutsch Telekom) has produced this TV spot with the help of a German agency called Philipp & Keuntje (

I don’t speak German, but looks like T-Mobile is doing some “good.”

I saved you the trouble, and typed the German supers into a free online translator. Here’s what came out:

IN GERMAN: Das alte Handy abgeben und wertvolle Ressourcen erhalten.
Die Rechnung online bekommen und die Natur schonen.
Lieblingssongs runterladen und weniger Plastik produzieren.
Grofle Veranderungen fangen klein an.
Erleben, was verbindet.

IN ENGLISH: Deliver the old mobile phone and receive valuable resources.
Get the calculation Online and nature of already.
Favorite songs download and produce less plastic.
Grofle porch rings begin small.*
Experience, what connects. (“millions catch at”)

(* they actually mean, “Big changes, start small.”)

My interpretation? "If you bring in your old phone, you can save the earth. Find out how much online, download your favorite songs, and use less plastic."

Big changes start small, indeed.

Two words: thank God. This, to me, is the trifecta. It’s a big company using its big marketing budget for good, and the creative? Really freaking cool. (Finally!)

The film style makes the scenes look like minuatures; like a diarama/model train set of the world. It sets up the “big changes start small” idea in a very intriguing manner.

Note to T-Mobile US: do this.

Is it strategic? Yes. Any company that reduces its carbon footprint with its products/production is on strategy. Is it involving? Absolutely. Inviting customers to make a difference means that the more they buy, the better off the earth is. Perfect. (And they get something free out of it, apparently. Let’s hope it’s not just the Best Of the Rammstein.)

This encourages purchase for a reason. It makes T-Mobile appear forward-thinking and good-hearted. And so … when someone buys, they not only love the earth, they also like T-Mobile. Brand loyalty built.

My guess is they’ll tell they’re friends about it.

(Thanks Griffin, yet again, for the tip on this one. Great find. Go see Griffin's blog, HERE.)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Luxury Brands Go Green

The Wall Street Journal online recently had a great article about how many of the highest-end luxury brands you can think of (Tiffany’s, Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Zegna) are turning to a green strategy to boost sales.

Here's an excerpt; “The luxury industry's adoption of a green message reflects the challenges facing some of the world's most glamorous brands. Once able to win customers with the promise of fine design, craftsmanship and service, the luxury business is contending with an aging core clientele and the aftermath of a decade-long expansion that has rendered exclusive brands less so than they used to be.

Those factors have purveyors of high-end fashions scrambling to re-invent their brands, in part by catering to younger shoppers who more often consider their impact on the environment than do traditional luxury-goods buyers.”

You might call it “sharing a worldview” with your customers. Or, offering “more than just a transaction.” These are some of the buzz-worthy phrases at my agency right now. And as luxury brands go green, they're making THAT their message.

Fact is, green campaigns do this, and more.

Luxury brands are often mature brands, and always rely on discretionary spending; for them it’s a great way to re-connect with people. And if you think about it, a green (or “we’re doing good”) message a great way to connect for all kinds of brands.

To read the full WSJ article, go HERE.