What Does and Doesn't Work at the Register

dd sign.jpg
dd sign.jpg

I ran across this register sign at my local Dunkin Donuts yesterday when I was picking up some donuts for the kids.

The problem with register signs is they, well, just sit there. The cashier was nice enough, but never asked me to donate a dollar or even mentioned the program.

So, I didn't give.

Register signs, posters, banners, buttons are all nice, but if the cashier isn't asking the question, "Would you like to donate a dollar to ____________?" these other things really don't matter. Shoppers miss them or see right through them because they are looking at you!

Looking for an Alternative to Pinups? Try Coupon Books

Screen shot 2012-07-24 at 7.57.52 PM
Screen shot 2012-07-24 at 7.57.52 PM

A good alternative to pinups is a coupon book. The book pictured comes from Massachusetts-based pizza chain Papa Gino's and benefits The Jimmy Fund, the fundraising arm of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Last year this coupon book raised $90,000 for The Jimmy Fund. This year's program began July 1st and runs through the end of the month. The book sells for a buck and offers $100 in savings.

Here's some more info on coupon books. You should also read this post to fully understand why you should use coupons for cause marketing in the first place. As this coupon book does, you can even put other businesses' coupons in your book. We used to charge companies to include a coupon in our book. Another option was for them to sell the coupon book in their stores. Businesses loved the co-marketing.

While more expensive to produce than pinups, coupon books have an almost instant appeal with shoppers. Looking for a different kind of cause marketing program for at the register? Try coupon books!

photo (10)
photo (10)

Cause Marketing Goes to the Movies

My team and I have had some luck working with movie theaters here in Boston. But we have yet to find the right partner to execute the large transactional cause marketing program that raises a lot of money. The movie theater cause marketing program of note in my city benefits The Jimmy Fund. It's been around since the late 1940's and last year it raised $530,000.

Ushers or volunteers collect the change and bills in canisters after moviegoers watch a short trailer on The Jimmy Fund's mission and services. They've had some moving trailers through the years.

This one is my favorite.


The Jimmy Fund program has been very successful, but coin canister programs aren't for everyone.

My friend Steve Drake recently passed along another movie theater cause marketing program that happens in his hometown of St. Louis.

Wehrenberg Theatres with 15 locations throughout the Midwest are supporting Variety the Children’s Charity of St. Louis through the purchase of Variety’s 2011 Gold Heart pin.

February 4 through March 31 moviegoers can purchase a pin for $3. When they buy the gold heart with any concession combo, they'll receive a free choice of Buncha CRUNCH™, Sno-Caps™, Kazoozles™, Chewy Spree™, or Chewy SweeTarts™. (Personally, I would go with the Sno-Caps.)

The tie-in with concessions is a smart one. The key, of course, is the ask at the counter. "Would you like to buy a Gold Heart pin for $3 to help Children's Charity? Buy it with a concession and you get one free."

Whatever they're doing at Wehrenberg Theaters, I hope they continue their work. Last year in just 15 theaters they sold 31,317 pins and raised $94,000. This year they hope to raise $100,000.

I often talk about retailers being great venues for transactional cause marketing because they have the secret sauce: lots of locations and lots of foot traffic. But so do movie theaters. You should give the ones in your area a call.

Have you seen other examples of cause marketing going to the movies in your community?