Brands Declare Dependence on Patriotic Cause Marketing

I've been on the hunt for Fourth of July cause marketing. I wrote about one last week from Budweiser that involved augmented reality that is pretty cool. You can read about it in my monthly post on the For Momentum blog.

I found another one today.

For a second year, Napa Auto Parts is re-launching its Get Back and Give Back Campaign to support the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. Through July, the campaign will offer a nationwide text-to-donate program during the month, which allows anyone to text 'NAPA' to 27722 to make a $10 donation.

Napa Auto Parts and NAPA AutoCare Centers are also offering customers mail-in rebates of up to $25 for every battery, alternator, and starter they purchase during the month. Customers can choose to donate all or a portion of these rebates, and Napa will donate $1 to the IFHF for any redeemed rebate.

This is the first time I've seen a company offer customers the option to donate their rebate to a cause, and then make a donation for every redeemed rebate (although I have this when consumers redeemed coupons).

Since I didn't find all Fourth of July cause marketing campaigns I was hoping to find, I dipped into my Pinterest boards and found a few other patriotic themed campaigns.

During the Superbowl Jeep'sWhole Again ad supported the USO and the troops.

One of my favorite campaigns from past Independence Days was Jersey Mike's Christmas in July campaign for Wreaths Across America. I think it takes a real giving spirit to host a fundraiser in July to put wreaths on soldiers' graves in December. But that's just what this sub chain did.

What Fourth of July cause marketing promotions have you seen?

Update: Stuart Elliot in the New York Times has a nice roundup of cause-related campaigns for The Fourth of July.

Day 4: Keep the Fourth of July Spirit Going All Month Long

Since this is my last installment of four cause marketing promotions that celebrate Independence Day, I thought I'd focus on a campaign that would take us right through the Olympics, which begin July 27th.

For $12 you can buy a stitch to the flag our athletes will carry at the Olympics in London. To date, Team USA has sold nearly 24,000 stitches with Raise Our Flag.

The money will support meals, training, equipment and everything else our athletes need to win. Remember, America's athletes get no government funding. They can only succeed with our help.

A big Olympic thanks to Phil "The Godfather of Cause Marketing" McCarty for sharing this promotion with me.

Day Three: 4 Ways to Celebrate the Fourth of July & Give Back

Just because the Fourth of July is over doesn't mean you've seen your last cookout this week. Folks will be grilling, chilling and drinking right through the weekend. That's why my third pick of the week for cause marketing that celebrates Independence Day is a Massachusetts company called 50 Back, which brews a beer called The Brew of the Brave.

When you buy this American lager, 50% of the proceeds go to five charities committed to supporting and enriching the lives of veterans and active service members and their families. Two of these organizations are the USO and Homes for Our Troops.

While 50 Back is currently only available at stores in Massachusetts, the brewers hope to soon bring this "taste of appreciation" to all 50 states.

Don't drink beer? Try my other favorite beverage for a cause: Tevolution.

Day Two: Four Cause Marketing Campaigns to Celebrate on the Fourth

The second cause marketing campaign I want to recognize this week is Flag Your Bag by Which Wich Superior Sandwiches. The sandwich shop chain is encouraging customers to decorate Which Wich bags that will be filled with goodies and sent to troops overseas.

To meet today's deadline, you can upload a drawing online. You can also send the troops a personalized message of thanks. Sadly, there are no Which Wich stores here in New England but with 250 locations nationwide, I bet there's one near you.

Happy Fourth of July! Have a safe and fun holiday.

4 Cause Marketing Campaigns to Celebrate on Independence Day

Wristbandx largeThe Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays so I'm combining it with my other favorite thing: cause marketing. For the next four days I'm profiling four different cause marketing programs to celebrate Independence Day. My first pick is Starbucks' Indivisible campaign. Indivisible isn't a new program or specifically focused on Independence Day. It's been around since October when Starbucks began selling the Indivisible bracelet. But this program has special meaning on the Fourth.

On June 29th, Starbuck's Howard Schultz released an open letter to the American people.

Across the country, millions of Americans are out of work. Many more are working tirelessly yet still unable to adequately care for their families. Our veterans are not being welcomed home with the level of support they deserve. Meanwhile, in our nation’s capital, our elected leaders are continuing to put ideology over real solutions. I love America, but we all know there is something wrong. The deficits this country must reconcile are much more than financial, and our inability to solve our own problems is sapping our national spirit. We are better than this. America’s history has showed that we have accomplished extraordinary things when we act collectively, with courage, creativity, and generosity of spirit—especially during trying times.

As we celebrate all that is great about our country, let’s come together and amplify our voices.

To me, this is what Independence Day is all about. It's not just about BBQ's, fireworks and road races. It's about prodding and questioning what was created on that day in 1776, and how it can be improved. That's what the former slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglas did on Independence Day in 1852 when he asked What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?. Suffragists Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony also poked and prodded on the Centennial with a Declaration of Rights of the Women of the United States.

Schultz is in good company.

The cause marketing component of Indivisible - the bracelets, the tumblers and the coffee that fund getting America back to work - isn't the message. But it is the message bearer of the important news Starbucks is rushing to deliver. Will we heed the alarm bell? Thanks to cause marketing, it rings every time we visit a Starbucks.

Tune in tomorrow for my second pick of marketing programs to celebrate on Independence Day. 

Celebrate the Fourth with Cause Marketing that Supports Troops

Happy Fourth of July! I'm celebrating the day with these three cause marketing promotions that support our troops - a great cause to support on the day we celebrate freedom. I didn't find these promotions. I asked you to send me your examples of Indendence Day cause marketing and you responded!

These three were the best.

In first place, Joey Leslie in San Luis Obiscpo, California sent me this promotion from Which Wich Superior Sandwiches. Which Wich will be filling the decorated bags with treats for troops overseas. This is a great example of cause marketing and shows that ANY company can find a creative way to support a cause.

Congrats to Joey Leslie and Which Wich! Joey will be receiving a copy of my new book Cause Marketing for Dummies. Which Wich will be featured in the second edition of Cause Marketing for Dummies in the chapter Top 10 Cause Marketing Promotions We Wish We Could Take Credit For.

In second place, Colleen Cronin of South Boston who's a huge fan of Great American Cookies, shared this promotion with me. When you buy the "Uncle Sam Hat" or "US Flag", GAC will donate $2 to the Yellow Ribbon Fund, a nonprofit committed to helping injured troops and their families.

This promotion kicks off TODAY and runs through September 16th!

This program is a model example of a purchase-triggered cause marketing program. A cookie purchase triggers a $2 donation to the Yellow Ribbon Fund. While Great American Cookies, not the consumer, ultimately makes the donation, the company hopes the program will make cookie sales rise, which in turn increases the donation to the fund. It's a win for the company, for the cause and for consumers.

In third place is Chris Mann, a cause marketer at Boston's Cone Communications. who pointed me to a client promotion involving Budweiser and Folds of Honor Foundation. FHF supports the families of fallen soldiers with scholarships and other kinds of assistance. Budweiser cans will display the flag this summer, and for every case sold, Budweiser will donate five cents to Folds of Honor. This ain't no tin can promotion. Budweiser's goal is to raise $2 million for Folds of Honor.

Congrats to Joey, Colleen and Chris for great submissions!