University of Oxford Case Study: P&G’s Pampers and UNICEF

by Laurie Burgess

The inner workings behind a cause-marketing or signature cause program are often proprietary. Most people only see the customer facing product promotion and call to action such as “our company will donate $1 to charity for every purchase,” when, there is much more happening behind the scenes of a robust program. The University of Oxford’s Case Study on P&G’s Pampers & UNICEF gives an inside look at the creation of a cause program. This case showcases the genuine intricacies of developing a cause-marketing or signature program and demonstrates that a successful cause program can often endure challenges, interruptions and unforeseen circumstances along the way.

This is a great read for anyone interested in learning more about the background, design and implementation of cause programs. Here are my three key takeaways:

Align Cause and Brand

This case emphasizes the value of aligning a company’s brand with a cause relevant to the business. The Pampers and UNICEF partnership was viable because the companies align on a focus on children’s health and wellbeing. Pampers was able to effectively strengthen their brand image perception through their campaign with UNICEF.

Focus on Business AND Social Objectives

The case documents P&G’s success in achieving both business and social impacts including improving employee pride and satisfaction, strengthening their reputation and brand loyalty, increasing stock’s attractiveness, among others while also making a positive impact on the health of mothers and infants.

Understand Partnership Development

The case also offers insights into how to manage partnerships between for-profit and non-profit organizations. These partnerships often have innate risks because the organizations often have different departmental structures, relationships with stakeholders, priorities and expertise. The case outlays processes for creating effective partnerships.

To view the full case and teaching notes, visit the University of Oxford.