Calling out Cause Marketing
How Honest is it?
Cause Marketing is when a business supports a charitable cause or a social issue and gets marketing benefits from it.
I owned and run a Public Relations Company for over a decade and if I’ve seen one cause marketing campaign, I’ve seen them all. You know them too; Buy something and the same (or lesser quality item) will be sent to people in need. Shoes and socks are popular. Another cause marketing campaign you may have seen is the claim that if you purchase a product a percentage of the profits goes to help a non-profit. While all noble in their desire to contribute to the common good, one can’t quite feel as though there is something less than altruistic about a company that’s main goal is to make a profit, and as a sidebar they are happy to spend marketing dollars to tell you how they also do something nice for humanity. The goal is of course that you choose their brand above one that isn’t socially conscious. I get it. I sold it. I bought the t-shirt. But I KNEW. I knew deep down that leveraging the suffering of humanity for a capitalistic purpose is dirty, no matter how many showers you take.
What I did not know is that the anthesis of this type of consumer manipulation already existed. I, thinking I am smarter than I am, thought I created it – haha! But alas, the person who perfected selling goods to benefit humanity above all else was none other than Paul Newman. Yes, Newman’s own started as dressing that he and his friends would give away as gifts and it was so popular, they decided to manufacture and sell that product to raise money for those in need. That product of course grew into a whole line and the company has donated over $550M since it began in the early 80’s. Newman’s own gives it ALL to charity. All profits. Not a portion of a certain product, not buy one/give one, all profits to charity, period.
Isn’t that what philanthropy was supposed to be about at its ethos? It is even right to “get rich” while leveraging someone else’s unfortunate circumstance. We don’t think so. That is why a group of moms run our business, Mom Bomb, and why we also give 100% of our profits to charity. We aren’t movie stars like Paul Newman, and we don’t want to be stars at all, we just want to help. Our team represents the mothers we serve. All the women who work on our team (and even the two very patient men that put up with us) have been down and out and needed a helping hand at one point. Of course we‘d all love to build a huge company and have jets and second homes, but we’d suffice to get dinner on the table and the kids to bed on time. We get up in the morning to make beautiful, hand made natural bath and body products that give back to women in crisis. We don’t take the profits to enrich ourselves, as we know there is a better way to build a true cause related company and that’s to just be transparent and make it easy – we give it all away! Come meet some of the moms we have helped over at our 501c3 sister organization MomBomb.org and remember to Buy Bombs and Help Moms.