Posts Tagged ‘social cause advertising’

Over the last few months, I have been exploring the possibility of a global communication campaign to mobilize citizens in the war against climate change. The question came up of who should tackle such an effort. It requires money, and people’s time and creativity.

That’s where the Tap Project becomes relevant. An article in today’s Ad Age touts it as ‘one of the biggest cause-marketing efforts yet‘. David Droga came up with the idea of bringing clean drinking water to children around the globe.

‘The initiative, which started last year as a challenge from the staff at Esquire magazine to invent a brand, has blossomed beyond Droga5 into an unusual cause-marketing collaboration between competing ad shops. Via the project, restaurant patrons are asked to donate a minimum of $1 for the drinking water they would normally get for free. For every dollar raised, the proceeds are funneled to UNICEF to help a child in a developing country obtain clean water for 40 days. . . . Nearly 2,300 restaurants nationwide signed on for the “World Water Week” event that kicked off March 16 and wrapped March 22. Participating venues each received a toolkit containing TAP decals to be placed in window and packs of donation cards to be placed with a menu or with the bill.’

Why is the Tap Project such a success? According to Richard Earle, the author of ‘The Art of Cause Marketing: How to Use Advertising to Change Personal Behavior and Public Policy’,

“The best social marketing provokes an immediate and easy-to-execute reaction, . . . In today’s cause-marketing-crazed environment, a common pitfall of such campaigns is to gain sympathy without a clear objective for people to achieve, . . .The Tap Project, “has a very specific and well-defined objective. It is something very easy and clear that people can do to achieve the goals of the campaign. To pay a dollar for a glass of water is simple and ingenious.”

Equally important was leaving agencies free rein to execute the project according to local flavors:

Volunteering agencies were given two basic mandates: to recruit restaurants to participate and promote the Tap Project in local communities. The parameters were otherwise left intentionally loose. Agencies were supplied the UNICEF and Tap Project logo and asked to bring local flavor to developing marketing materials. “Allowing people to make the program their own is the key to the success of it,” said Kim Pucci, marketing director for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.’

I will also add the fact that the cause was given a very human face. Who can resist the haunting image of a thirsty child?

List of top agencies who volunteered to create pro bono campaigns for Tap Project:

Boston: Hill Holiday
Chicago: Energy BBDO
Cincinnati: Empower Media Marketing
Dallas: Publicis Mid America
Los Angeles: TBWA/Chiat/Day, OMD, Tequila and Porter-Novelli
Milwaukee: Non Box
New Orleans: Trumpet
Portland: Wieden & Kennedy
Richmond, Va.: Virginia Commonwealth University Brandcenter
San Diego: Fishtank
San Francisco: Goodby Silverstein & Partners
Seattle: Publicis in the West
South Carolina (Charleston, Columbia and Greenville): Cargo

Here is my question to you. Learning from the Tap Project, which behavior would you want to elicit from people with a climate fight campaign? Think of one single, easy action.

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