Pope Benedict XVI Endorses Cause-Related Marketing

by Risa Sherman

Pope Announces Cause-Related Marketing CD for Christmas

So I just read that the Pope has announced a Christmas cause marketing campaign. He has partnered with David Geffen and is making a CD of holiday music to benefit less advantaged kids around the globe. I, for one, couldn’t be happier. In my book it communicates a big, pious thumbs up for the practice of cause marketing.

The most fabulous part is that he has actually nailed many of the best practices that we counsel our clients on every day. Here we go:

  • Brand alignment One of the core tenets of the Pope’s brand essence has to do with charity and a major part of his job has to do with reducing human suffering and rallying people around something positive. He picked a cause completely consistent with his holy brand.
  • Pre-existing evangelists If you don’t have a built-in group of people who are already rallying around your cause, it’s hard to get momentum for a campaign starting from ground zero. Lucky for the Pope, he has tons of groupies who like to follow his lead. For that reason alone, the campaign is destined for success.
  • Credibility on the issue I would be hard pressed to find anyone anywhere, barring Mother Theresa, who has more of a credible history of ministering to the poor than the Pope. No need to elaborate.
  • High traffic shopping period The Pope picked a great time of year to launch his effort.  It is promotional window closely aligned with his master brand and it is a natural shopping period when people will certainly be spending. While there is likely to be clutter with other cause marketing campaigns, something tells me this guy can break through.
  • Senior management buy in Trust me when I tell you this guy doesn’t make a move without consulting his boss. This campaign will be successful because the Big Guy in the G-suite wants it to work.

So bless cause marketing. For all of its critics, we in causenation know when done right, it can help produce a world of good. And we finally have a best practice example of someone who is doing it not just to move the bottom line (not that there’s anything wrong with that) but because it is truly the right thing to do.

Go in peace.

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