Cause marketing is as much of a product of America as the athletes of Team USA who are winning the medals at the London Olympics. Cause marketing started in 1983 with a campaign between American Express and the nonprofit created to restore the Statue of Liberty. As the saying goes, the rest is history. Close on the heels of the United States is Great Britain, which has been the home to many cause marketing promotions.
It seems only fitting that these two countries should share my personal and virtual medals of honor. Cue the national anthem!
GOLD: P&G, THANK YOU, MOM
While Procter & Gamble’s Thank You, Mom doesn’t benefit a nonprofit, it does support a worthy cause: honoring moms of Olympians and great kids around the globe. P&G even had a British version, Thank You, Mum.
As Kate Olsen at Network For Good notes “Most [Olympic] campaigns will be flashes in the pan, without authentic, long-term commitments to cause partners. But one company’s approach to Olympic marketing stands out as a gold standard to simultaneously capitalize on a timely marketing opportunity, cultivate a core brand demographic and authentically support a long-time cause partner.”
Previous Thank You, Mom campaigns have supported the Special Olympics. During last year’s campaign, for every like of the Thank You, Mom Facebook page, P&G donated a dollar to the charity.
SILVER: TEAM USA, RAISE OUR FLAG
This campaign was from Team USA and ran right up to the start of the Olympics. Twelve dollars bought a stitch to the flag our athletes carried into the games at the Olympics. Team USA sold over 29,000 stitches.
Monies raised from Raise Our Flag supported meals, training, equipment and everything else our athletes needed to win. And, boy, have they won big!
BRONZE: TAIT TECHNOLOGIES, OLYMPICS OPENING CEREMONY – NHS BEDS
A big part of the Olympics Opening Ceremony were 300 beds used to pay homage to Britain’s National Health Service (NHS). The spectacle featured 600 real life health workers, including doctors and nurses, from the NHS. As part of the Olympics commitment to sustainability, the beds will be put to good use. Tait Technologies, one of the event production teams behind the opening ceremony, is donating the beds to two Tunisian hospitals in support of Project C.U.R.E.
HONORABLE MENTION: PEACEBOMB, OLYMPIC BANGLES
While Peacebomb’s Olympics inspired bangles finished outside the medals, it deserves an honorable mention. Made entirely out of melted bomb remnants, these handmade bangles are made in Laos, which, sadly, has plenty of metal scraps to spare. Over 250 million bombs were dropped on the country during the Vietnam War. Monies from these Olympic Bangles help clear unexploded bombs from the land in Laos. Far from the glory and achievements of London, this is one effort that is truly olympic in scope.