Arctic Home and Breast Cancer "Debate" at #CMF12

The following is a live blog from today’s Cause Marketing Forum.

Coke, the World Wildlife Federation, and the Arctic Home Campaign

Coke has developed a culture for innovative improvement, and sustainability has become a core component of that improvement. Plus the Polar Bear has become a long-term icon for Coke over the decades. They began working with WWF and its programs during 2007.

The Arctic Home campaign was consummated in 2011. The team wanted to create a big impact for Coke’s biggest selling season, do good for WWF’s last ice area project, and add to Coke’s brand reputation. The program was extensive.

It was a 360 degree fully activated campaign, both Coke and WWF launched one of the largest campaigns ever. It included branding. Packaging was the centerpiece of the campaign.

However, Coke did not mention the customer push back on the white can, which fans mistook for Diet Coke cans. Coke released the campaign in red cans to alleviate the issue.

An interesting aspect of the campaign, WWF used real polar bear images to complement the comic versions used by Coke. WWF thought authenticity and seeing real animals were critical.

The specific call to action was text in $1 donations with Coke matching up to $1 million. Coke chose texting to reach people wherever they were enjoying Coke, which is usually somewhere on the go.

Arctic Home served as the core of the program. The site had many levels of engagement, which was highly driven by WWF’s content. The most viewed pages ended up being the polar bear tracking page. Video components were highlighted throughout the session.

Various tactics showed high engagement. A WWF email had a 10x increased open rate over a traditional corporate partner email, and generated over $100,000 in donations. Coke hopes to match a total of $2 million over 5 years, Coke said they received 380 million impressions from the PR launch, which was unprecedented for the company.

Measurements include a 2.1% increase in brand reputation, 614,000 social expressions (shares and mentions) from customers, and 3.1 million site visits. In total, the campaign raised $1.795 million for WWF.

The Great Breast Cancer Debate

The Great Breast Cancer Debate panel at the 2012 Cause Marketing Forum featured Alison DaSilva from Cone Communications moderating, Margo Lucero of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Brian Maynard from Whirlpool KitchenAid, and Teresa Segarra of ANN Inc. The debate seemed to focus on the necessity of the public conversation about breast cancer.

Whirpool’s KitchenAid product line had a natural interest in great dance because it’s customers are usually middle-aged women. It took a year and a half to create a program with Komen for the Cure, which launched in 2001. They generated a lot of publicity and evolved.

ANN Inc. works with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Again, their customers are women, they use Ann Taylor Cares cards, and expanded the program to Mother’s Day. They sold 90% of their cards during the first 3 days.

Komen’s Lucero felt that the conversation needed to become a public topic. 30 years ago it could not be talked about publicly. 230,000 people–women and men–are diagnosed with cancer every year.

Komen has seen a decrease in corporate sponsorships over the past year, but is blaming the economy. There was an audible gasp in the audience when that was stated. I was really disappointed to hear Komen not mention acknowledge all of the controversies it was in. What great debate? Komen did make overtures to unify the breast cancer sector by offering a one goal statement.

As the panel wore on, pink washing came up indirectly. There were jokes about pink champagne. All of the partners thought the October month, ribbon campaigns, while good, needed to be furthered. It’s not just about the bow, companies need to do more. It’s a great opportunity for the company to reach untouched people, educate the employee base, and reach consumers. KitchenAid does a fantastic job reaching more people through its pink efforts.

Kroger’s Sharing Courage Campaign

One of the campaigns recognized for a HALO Award at the Cause Marketing Forum was The Kroger Company’s Giving Hope a Hand campaign for breast cancer preventions. Because so much publicity around “pink fails,” Krogers saw it as an opportunity and developed an authentic sincere program that featured employees who survived breast cancer.

The Kroger Sharing Courage – Giving Hope a Hand campaign highlighted women of all shapes and sizes, and their real personal stories. The campaign was local, intentionally supporting communities where Kroger had local stores. Customers were thrilled and felt closer to the brand (no measurement data offered), and Kroger’s said the campaign also generated a ton of publicity.

I really love the authenticity of this campaign, and the strong focus on core business marketing with local support. This goes well beyond the usual strategy of a simple pink ribbon.

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