As previously explored, the simplified goal of Cause Marketing is to create an emotional charge usually associated with feeling good, contributing or being of service in relationship to a social “cause”. This act is designed to activate a person’s passion or emotional center while associating this feeling with the sponsoring brand.
However, feeling good isn’t always the obvious intention or outward trait. Now, let’s look The Liz Claiborne’s public information campaign called “Women’s Work” focused on ending domestic violence. The creators of the campaign, Burns Sowder Arts Advisory are cultural entrepreneurs that are committed to the development of new audiences through innovative communication strategies including cultural initiatives and utilizing cause marketing techniques. Below is the description of the intention behind Women’s Work from their site:
(***on a side note, I am a huge Barbara Kruger fan, so the visual impact for me was stunning.)
“A national public information campaign to end domestic violence, Women’s Work combined strategic philanthropy and cause marketing to enhance Liz Claiborne’s relevance to its evolving target audiences, including consumers, retail customers, the media and the larger community.
Women’s Work positioned the company on the front lines of an issue critical to its market through a process of commissioning internationally recognized artists to create provocative imagery for billboards, bus stops, posters, TV and radio spots, and products for sale at retail. Strategic collaborations with retail, political, media and community partners like Saks Fifth Avenue, Senator Barbara Boxer, MTV networks and the national consortium of DV agencies, extended the reach and impact of the program to unprecedented levels.
The initiative generated overwhelmingly positive media response and heightened levels of consumer and customer loyalty for Liz Claiborne, Inc. Women’s Work also helped raise significant funds for domestic violence programs by supporting existing activist networks, through donating a portion of retail sales proceeds, and by encouraging support from Claiborne’s corporate peers nationally.”
So it seems that the human experience is a bit more complicated. Even though the idea of domestic violence is not a positive or warm fuzzy feeling, the idea of standing up for a noble cause is respectable. As the article pointed out, brand loyalty and publicity are 2 of the byproducts of this effort.