Pillar #5 of the 6 Pillars of Effective Cause Marketing

Primary tabs

Pillar #5 of the 6 Pillars of Effective Cause Marketing

The fifth in a series of six posts discussing effective cause marketing principals
tweet me:
Download The 6 Pillars of Effective Cause Marketing for insights into successful #CauseMarketing http://bit.ly/A1mBeR


At Incite, we believe the most effective cause marketing campaigns are crafted with careful consideration of a company’s consumers, employees and key partners. Here in a series of six blog posts, we demonstrate the importance of understanding the causes and issues that are relevant to these stakeholder groups and present six critical pillars for developing effective cause marketing campaigns.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - 10:00am

CAMPAIGN: 6 Pillars of Effective Cause Marketing


Pillar #5 - Reach People Where They Are

Installing a marketing campaign that leverages a complete media mix is inefficient and will be unsuccessful if, for example, your target audience is most frequently accessing information via social media or video games. Take the time to discover when and how your target audiences like to receive information. Share your cause marketing message through mediums or portals that will directly engage your consumers. Take your cause marketing message and campaign to your audience via grassroots engagement (on college campuses, at concerts, in malls, in nursing homes, etc.). Traditional media can still be a vital component of any cause marketer’s strategy if the research you have done supports the mediums you choose to leverage. But, why waste your money on newspaper advertising if your target audience is not reading it?

We will take some liberties here and profile one of our recent campaigns developed for MTV’s “Get Yourself Tested” (GYT) effort to demonstrate this concept of reaching your target audience naturally and directly.

PILLAR 5 SHOWDOWN - MTV’s “Get Yourself Tested” campaign vs. Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group’s “Celebrity Fan”

MTV's "Get Yourself Tested" campaign - Cause Marketing Concept: The “Get Yourself Tested” initiative is a joint effort led by MTV and the Kaiser Family Foundation. The campaign leverages music, culture and celebrity spokespeople to encourage young people to know their sexual health status and get tested for sexually transmitted diseases.

THE SCORECARD: GYT partners like MTV and the Kaiser Family Foundation go to great lengths to meet their target audience, young people, in their natural environments. They have developed a robust online marketing platform at www.itsyoursexlife.com that houses relevant information, a digital discussion tool, and an online Testing Locator. The GYT campaign also leverages social media resources and has purposeful presence on-site at large events. Incite created a strategic campaign for the GYT message during the summer of 2011 that included partnerships with local media brands and prominent on-site concert presence in target cities. GYT’s on-site activations at Q101’s “Jamboree” rock concert in Chicago, at HOT 97’s “Summer Jam” hip hop concert in New York, and at Power 106’s “Powerhouse” hip hop concert in Los Angeles created an opportunity for GYT to interact one-to-one with over 92,000 people. In addition, GYT street team members handed out 8,300 GYT co-branded condoms and engaged attendees who filled out over 4,000 GYT surveys. In Chicago, Incite also executed a “GYT College Campus Tour,” testing over 560 young people for HIV at six college campuses in exchange for tickets to Jamboree.

Our GYT efforts in Chicago, New York City and Los Angeles were effective because the execution elements were all designed to meet young people naturally and directly in the environments and locations where they were already located.

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group’s “Celebrity Fan” – Cause Marketing Concept: The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group features a small cadre of celebrities in a print campaign to promote seventeen of their properties. Each celebrity that appears in an advertisement chooses a charity to receive $10,000.


When we suggest the concept of reaching people where they are, we are talking about reaching the consumers that will drive donations or impact sales to benefit a company’s chosen cause. We are also talking about naturally reaching target audiences in environments where they are comfortable and receptive to cause marketing messages. A successful cause marketing campaign provides the target audience with a direct opportunity to take the desired action – make a donation, purchase a product associated with the campaign, volunteer, etc.

The biggest problem with the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group’s campaign is there is no way for their consumers to get involved and drive further donations to the beneficiaries. Worse yet, the print campaigns do not list what the celebrity’s charity of choice is – it is only listed on their website. While we understand that the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is trying to position their properties as exclusive and glamorous, the campaign does not translate to meaningful amounts of charitable donations to any one cause. Rather, in our opinion, the campaign comes off as elitist – flaunting extravagance and excess with a mere pittance benefiting the causes the celebrities choose. At the very least, a percentage of sales up to a predetermined amount would better position this campaign to succeed and would give consumers an opportunity to participate in the brand’s cause marketing effort.


Nick Cavarra
+1 (818) 238-6630
Incite - Social Impact Marketing
Keywords: 6 Pillars of Effective Cause Marketing | Events, Media & Communications | Cause Marketing | Events, Media & Communications | Get Yourself Tested | Incite - Social Impact Marketing | MTV | Mandarin Oriental Hotel

CAMPAIGN: 6 Pillars of Effective Cause Marketing