Proven Cause Marketing Examples
If you are new to cause marketing, this list of best-in-class cause marketing examples should give you a good lay of the land. Though we have chosen to use large recognizable brands for the examples, many of these strategies can be executed by small brands with great success.
Looking for ideas for a campaign? This list of successful cause marketing examples is sure to get your creative juices flowing. We’ve included one representative example of each of the types of cause marketing campaigns to help you envision how each might apply to your company or nonprofit.
For the past seven years, Starbucks has teamed up with (RED) to raise funding for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS on World AIDS Day. As part of the campaign, Starbucks committed to donating 10 cents for every handcrafted beverage sold in participating U.S. and Canada stores, and raised a whopping $12 million in donations. The red cup ensures that consumers take note of the commitment, resulting in an increase in brand loyalty.
Example #2: Buy a Pair, Give a Pair — Warby Parker & Various partners including Vision Spring
Like so many rising social enterprises, Warby Parker has integrated the buy one give one model into very core of their business strategy. For every pair of glasses Warby Parker sells, they donate a pair of glasses to their nonprofit partners—with over 1 million glasses distributed so far. The nonprofits then train individuals to sell the glasses to people in need at extremely affordable prices. This modified model ensures the glasses remain high quality while attempting to address the concerns that donated items may disrupt local economies.
Example #3: Miracle Balloon Campaign — Walmart & Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals
Walmart and Sam’s Club have both supported the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals for over 27 years and in the process they have managed to raise over $750 million in donations. For six weeks of the year, Walmart employees solicit donations for the cause from customers at checkout. For a dollar donation or more, consumers can put their name on a Miracle Balloon or dedicate it to a loved one. In 2012, this effective cause marketing example was calculated to raise an astonishing $122 per minute.
Example #4: Operation Safe Return — Jeep & United Service Organizations
Jeep established the S.A.F.E. Return fund to provide secure transport of troops and supplies, aid for transition to civilian life, freedom-celebrating homecoming events, and enduring care of wounded veterans. In total, Jeep has given over $1 million in donations and vehicles to the USO. In 2013, Jeep created a heartfelt Super Bowl commercial to help raise awareness of their commitment to the troops and their families.
The Avon 39 Walk to End Breast Cancer is a 39 mile walk held annually to raise awareness and funding for breast cancer. Reebok serves as the national sponsor of the events, awarding them significant brand visibility with walk participants. Through their events, Avon 39 has managed to raise over $500 million dollars for breast cancer prevention and research.
Example #6: Heart Healthy Meals — Subway & American Heart Association
Subway was the first fast food restaurant to meet the American Heart Association Heart-Check Meal Certification Program’s strict standards and gain the right to bear the Heart Healthy Meal seal. With an increasingly health-conscious customer base, associating themselves with this certification surely lead to a rise in sales. The annual cost of getting a single product certified by the American Heart Association is $5,000.
Example #7: Campaign for Real Beauty — Unilever & Dove Self-Esteem Fund
After a study by Dove showed that only only 2% of women around the world would describe themselves as beautiful, Dove decided to launch the Campaign for Real Beauty to address the fact that society’s depiction of beauty in advertising had become unattainable. This well-executed cause marketing example received considerable attention and praise, raising Dove’s brand ethos with consumers and earning them droves of new customers. Since the campaign’s launch in 2004, sales have impressively increased over 60%.
Example #8: Arctic Home — Coke & World Wildlife Fund
In an effort to support the conservation of the polar bears they have used as an unofficial mascot for years, Coke launched the Arctic Home campaign in partnership with WWF in 2011. Since launch, the campaign has raised significant awareness and over $3 million in donations through a variety of multimedia avenues. The execution of the prominent digital engagement component of the campaign has been particularly impressive—utilizing the web, apps, social media, text messaging, and other technology to create engaging digital experiences and successfully drive brand volume.
If you have a suggestion for an even more successful campaign to include in the cause marketing examples above, don't hesitate to let us know.