Procter and Gamble, manufacturer of Dawn Liquid Dishwashing Detergent, has scored a public relations home run with their recent advertising campaign that describes how the International Bird Rescue Research Center endorses the use of Dawn to clean up birds that get “oiled” by oil spills.
Per P&G, “For 25 years, wildlife rescuers have used Dawn® dishwashing liquid to gently remove oil from aquatic animals. Animal rescue groups choose Dawn because it removes the greasy oil—while being gentle on delicate feathers and skin. Animal rescue organizations have used thousands of donated bottles of Dawn to save the lives of countless animals. Over the 25 years Dawn has been involved, the success rate for saving oiled wildlife has jumped from three percent to ninety percent. And now Dawn is increasing the support we give to these organizations by making a contribution to improve their facilities and spreading the word about the many things everyone can do to prevent oil from getting into the environment.”
In this national television advertisement, Dawn did not even mention that Dawn was “good for dishes”. Instead, they positioned Dawn as a concerned member of the environmental community. This is cause marketing ( a marketing activity that supports a charitable event, a cause, or a non-profit organization) at its finest. The positive spin from this ad and the buzz that it has created is extraordinary. Do a Google search on “Dawn” and you will be amazed at the chatter and the positive publicity that this campaign has generated.
The lesson for entrepreneurs is that cause marketing pays. This technique can be applied on a smaller scale in a local community or an industry. It could be driven by your affiliation with a favorite charity, a kid’s soccer team, or a church. By getting involved and giving, you can receive free publicity for the good work. You can then tout this good work with your PR and advertising efforts. Research shows that this type of positive publicity can increase sales and brand loyalty.
Your action is to find a cause that you are passionate about and get involved. The payoff will come back in your improved image. And, it will feel good too.
John Bradley Jackson
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