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Star Wars Force for Change

Campaign: Star Wars Force for Change
Disney and Lucasfilm
Nonprofit Partner: UNICEF
Launch Date: July 20, 2014

Campaign: Star Wars Force for Change is a charitable initiative from Disney and Lucasfilm in collaboration with Bad Robot benefitting UNICEF's Innovation Labs. By contributing at any level, participants were eligible to win prizes including a chance to be in the Star Wars: Episode VII movie. Disney contributed $1 million to the launch of the campaign. Hosted on Omaze, the campaign raised $1 million in the first 24 hours.

Our Take: This campaign marks an impressive new type of cause marketing/entertainment mash-up that's growing in popularity. Leveraging a hugely popular entertainment platform, consumers are incentivized to donate with rewards ranging from a digital badge at the $10 level to a t-shirt and poster at the $250 level to an advance private screening at the $50,000 level (which sold out). If the incentives aren't enough to entice participation, the leveled playing field of an opportunity to appear in the movie with any contribution is sure to lure any Star Wars fan into participating. Watch for more experiential opportunities like this coming to a cause marketing galaxy near you!

Let's Get Her to Camp

Campaign: Let's Get Her to Camp
Company: Nestle Crunch
Nonprofit Partner: Girl Scouts of the USA
Launch Date: June 24, 2014


Nestlé Crunch's Girl Scout Candy Bars are back for a limited time this summer. To help draw additional interest in the bars, the brand is incorporating a cause marketing campaign called “Let’s Get Her to Camp”. Nestlé Crunch will donate a minimum of $200,000 to fund Girl Scouts camp scholarships. Consumers can help increase the donation to $250,000 to send even more girls to camp by joining a virtual campfire and completing their own campfire story online.

Our Take:

When this limited edition candy bar appeared on shelves for the first time, we wondered why there wasn't a consumer-facing cause marketing campaign to go along with it. This summer, the partnership delivers precisely that. Camp and summer goes hand in hand, which makes this campaign easy for parents and kids to relate to and very timely. Providing a base scholarship amount and inviting consumers to add to the scholarship pool is also a smart move. Incorporating a daily product giveaway as well as a bi-weekly opportunity to win camping gear sweetens the incentive to participate. Asking consumers to conclude a camp fire story (vs. creating one of their own) also lowers the barrier to entry by providing content for people to respond to. The only thing missing from this campaign? Photos or video of real Girl Scouts themselves. 


Campaign: Reemployment
Company: Fifth Third Bank and NextJob
Nonprofit Partner: None
Launch Date: May 29, 2014


Piloted in 2012, Fifth Third Bank identified mortgage customers who were behind in their payments due to job loss and offered to help them land a new job with outplacement firm NextJob's comprehensive job search program. After 6 months, nearly 40% had landed jobs. The program expanded in 2013 and this year's effort will attempt to share actual job seekers' stories via video vignettes via social media in a cause marketing campaign called 'Reemployment'. For every 53 retweets, Fifth Third will fund a job searching coaching package for another unemployed person. To date, 43 additional job seekers have been helped with 2279 retweets.

Our Take:

This cause marketing campaign offers an excellent example of how social media can be used for good. In an era where mistrust of financial institutions is high, Fifth Third astutely  identified the root cause of mortgage default among its own customer base - unemployment - and then provided meaningful assistance to help customers get back on their feet. Using social media to share authentic stories of real people in need of work (instead of promoting the bank's own agenda) is highly effective and eminently shareable. Importantly, the social media effort and carrot to provide additional job coaching packages for retweets is layered on top of an existing foundation of support from the bank. Using this model, the bank shows the good that's already being done and asks for help in sharing stories as well as assisting additional job seekers.

Avoid These Employee Engagement Potholes (And Embrace These Tips!)

A new addition to this year's Cause Marketing Forum Conference were interactive networking sessions. These two-hour sessions grouped like-minded professionals around a particular theme and asked participants to share knowledge and challenges.


The session on employee engagement was one of the highest attended and was facilitated by Cause Consulting’s Mark Feldman. During the session small groups of 6-8 people were tasked with coming up with best practice tips related to select employee engagement topics.  Here is a summary of some of what the participants came up with…

Employee Communication:  Tips for how to effectively inform and reach employees
•    Create a completing theme and call-to-action to unify and rally employees 
•    Identify internal employee champions throughout the company to cascade messages and stories
•    Ensure c-level support and utilize their voices, authority, and participation 
•    Share the passion, enthusiasm and stories of employees at all levels
•    Maximize technology, Facebook, microsites, and blogs 
•    Consider creating a movement, rather than just a program
•    Share results as quickly as possible 

Pothole to avoid:
•    Be proud, but modest in claiming your impact

Senior Executives:  Tips for how to engage and gain support of senior executives
•    Position engagement within the context of a company’s culture and bottom-line
•    Speak business language
•    Share engagement surveys and employee testimonials
•    Place executives on boards that are relevant to the company’s issue focus and strategies
•    Bring executives into the field on site-visits to experience social issues first hand
•    Expect that executives volunteer; get them out there

Pothole to avoid:
•    Be prepared.  Sometimes executives get so inspired and engaged that they jump to create immediate solutions to social problems that aren’t really needed

Partners:  Tips for how to select and engage non-profit and other partners
•    Work with local non-profits to identify and assess true needs employees can address
•    Make sure the organizations share common a vision and goals
•    Select partners that have the capacity to help lead and execute activities 
•    Enable social issue experts and universities to share knowledge with employees
•    Identify teams that are detail and action oriented

Pothole to avoid:
•    Activation always takes more time than you think it will

Click here for a copy of the more detailed Employee Engagement Factsheet that was handed out during the session.

What examples of effective employee engagement have you seen? Share your examples in the comments below!

Pin a Meal, Give a Meal

Campaign: Pin a Meal, Give a Meal
Company: Land O'Lakes
Nonprofit Partner: Feeding America
Launch Date: April 7, 2014


In a new Pinterest cause marketing promotion called 'Pin a Meal, Give a Meal', for every Land O'Lakes recipe pinned or repinned on Pinterest, the Land O'Lakes Foundation will donate $1 up to $300,000 to Feeding America, a commitment equalling a donation of 2.7 million meals. This is the second year of the campaign, and as part of the program's growth, Land O'Lakes is extending its partnership with food blogger Ree Drummond (the Pioneer Woman) to help raise awareness. Drummond created signature recipes for the campaign, along with eight other top food bloggers. The campaign runs through May 31st.

Our Take:

Pinterest cause marketing promotions are getting more sophisticated, as evidenced by this second-year campaign. Not only is Land O'Lakes offering up a significant $300,000 donation, they've smartly recruited food bloggers with deep readership to authentically engage with both their recipes and readers. This promotion is a nice product/cause fit and makes great sense housed on Pinterest. What other Pinterest cause marketing promotions have you seen that are effective...or not so much? Share them below!