Hoops Across America

Campaign: Hoops Across America
Company: DICK's Sporting Goods and Lifetime Products 
Nonprofit Partner: Various Community Organizations
Launch Date: December 2, 2014

Campaign:

The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation partnered with Lifetime Products to celebrate GivingTuesday and launch a #HolidayHoops campaign. During a surprise appearance by Cavaliers star Kevin Love at a Cleveland elementary school, The DICK'S Foundation began a pay-it-forward movement that will ultimately result in the donation of 100 basketball hoops. Each day in December, two participating organizations will be gifted two hoops and then have the opportunity to pay it forward and gift two hoops to another deserving organization.

Our Take:

The donation of 100 basketball hoops might typically go unnoticed or unappreciated to everyone except the immediate beneficiaries. However, this effort from DICK's and vendor Lifetime takes a simple gift and leverages the power of storytelling (in the form of a compelling video - see below) to hammer home the “Sport Matters” message at a time of year when people are most receptive to it. Using the pay-it-forward model to distribute the donation also increases the emotional connection of the recipients-turned-givers, increasing the likelihood that the gift will be shared on social channels and via word of mouth. Clean, smart and simple. Well played, DICK's!


Bullseye's Playground

Campaign: Bullseye's Playground
Company: Target
Nonprofit Partner: St. Jude 
Children’s Research Hospital 
Launch Date: December 3, 2014

Campaign:

Target has released an interactive, in-store mobile experience for the holidays. “Bullseye’s Playground” is a series of mobile games including sledding, ice fishing and snowball fights. Users can play the games on their mobile device and then unlock characters and new game levels with their mobile phone in-store. For every game played, Target will donate $1 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, up to $1 million. Target partnered with Google’s Art, Copy & Code project to create this interactive experience. In four selected Target stores, guests can also try out the Google Tablet to experience a 3D version of the game.

Our Take:

Target is blazing the trail in the integration of in-store, mobile gaming and cause marketing with this cutting edge new interactive experience. Not only does this campaign showcase the future of the retail experience for consumers, integrating a sizable donation to a well-known cause further incentives participation, particularly during this season of giving. Smart, timely and innovative.


Hope.ly

Campaign: Hope.ly
Company: Bitly
Nonprofit Partner: American Red Cross
Launch Date: December 2, 2014

Campaign:

The Red Cross and Bitly have teamed up to create hope.ly—a new social tool that allows users to shorten links and help to increase donations to support the Red Cross. When content is shared using a hope.ly link, a banner appears over the content that the user shares, urging people to donate to the Red Cross. The banner reads, “Someone wonderful shared this page — to help people in need through the American Red Cross”. Launched on GivingTuesday, the promotion runs through December.

Our Take:

This unique partnership takes the oft-used web service Bitly and brilliantly transforms it into a cause-focused online billboard. While the call to action is crystal clear (donate!) and will undoubtedly drive additional online donations, it would be interesting to experiment with other calls to action (perhaps even paired with consumer incentives) to determine the most effective combination. This smart promotion may well have opened the door to future cause or brand partnerships for Bitly.

Every day, care

Campaign: Every day, care 
Company: Whirlpool
Nonprofit Partner: None
Launch Date: November 2014

Campaign:

Whirlpool brand has launched the Every day, care Project, a program that includes a series of “social experiments” to demonstrate the value of everyday tasks done with love. For its first “social experiment”, Whirlpool is sharing a video showing the story of a “sandwich generation” family with a mom taking care of both a child and her own parent (video here or below). Whirlpool has partnered with Upworthy to distribute the video and is using the #EveryDayCare hashtag to encourage consumers to share their own moments of care.

Our Take:

This type of feel-good brand platform featuring poignant stories of real people is becoming increasingly prevalent and a method to watch. Whirlpool is effectively and authentically associating its everyday products with a powerful emotion: caring. The campaign microsite takes the opportunity to share what it’s doing to care for others via its partnership with Habitat for Humanity as well. Will it move the needle on brand loyalty or sales? We can’t wait to find out!

Fight Ebola

Campaign: Stop Ebola
Company: Facebook

Nonprofit Partners:  International Medical Corps, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and Save the Children, UNICEF and NetHope
Launch Date: November 6, 2014

Campaign:

If you logged onto Facebook today, you might have noticed a new message at the top of your newsfeed asking you to make a donation to help stop Ebola. The campaign comes on the heels of Mark Zuckerberg’s personal $25 million donation to the CDC Foundation and is comprised of three components: a user donation solicitation asking users to donate to one of three charities; a collaboration with UNICEF to educate users on the signs and symptoms in targeted regions; and a collaboration with NetHope to provide emergency voice and data services to medical and aid workers in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Our Take:

It’s not very often that Facebook throws its hat into the cause marketing ring, but this effort proves respectable and robust. Not only is Facebook using their greatest asset to raise funds, they’re collaborating with expert NGOs to both share information and leverage technology for the benefit of the effort. Having Mark Zuckerberg make a personal ask (and donation) also lends authenticity to this effort (see video below or here). Adding a visible tally of donations made might help increase the social proof element of this campaign. What’s your take on this new Facebook initiative? Weigh in with your comments below!