Discover more about cause related marketing 2.0 thanks to Burger King and Mattel

When a company has difficulty in finding its ‘good side’ instead of purposeful communication, one of many solutions can be ‘cause related marketing 2.0’. what’s the difference from ‘linear CRM’? the cause supported by the company is not necessary the one of a charity’s, but it’s one of marketing.

Take for example hackvertising, a strategy of several award winning CMO Fernando Machado, who launched some of the most interesting campaigns in the last years, including Dove’s Real beauty sketches. For instance, Burger King and its “Net neutrality” prank:

Burger King played the role of ‘facilitator’ on a subject of public interest (the neutrality of the web) creating awareness with a range of citizens not used to taking part in such conversations and raised public attention on an issue that threatened to overshadow. With this project, Burger King underlines that bands, thanks to their share of voice, their ability to be heard, can direct the gaze of citizens towards urgent current issues plating a role well beyond the pure player within their market.

Look at the new Barbie’s strategy as described by Alaina Crystal from AMV BBDO because they dig deep into the reason why Ruth Hander created Barbie with such a contemporary purpose:

“the little girl could be anything she wanted to be”

Starting from this, in 2016 Mattel transformed Barbie’s shapes in response to the scorching criticism of an ideal model now widely surpassed, communicated  a positive message of girl empowerment with Imagine the possibilities and in 2017 their Dads who play Barbie campaign aimed to broaden their audience and broke machoist prejudices. All this couldn’t be done without a responsible plan for Mattel suppliers to fight against Chinese factory workers’ poor labor conditions and toxic products.

Although I appreciate Mattel and Burger King efforts towards a more conscious consumer, all of this is not without risks, because there is a potential danger that the brand’s commercial aims (selling more burgers for example) can end up simplifying the very issues that they are supporting.

And so one wonders how Mattel is taking responsibility for suppliers, to combat the inadequate working conditions in Chinese factories and fight against the use of toxic products. Likewise, if we look at fast food restaurants, the impact on the environment of production, delivery, cooking and packaging of food is enormous and according to some sources cited by the Guardian, Burger King’s animal feed comes from deforested lands in Brazil and Bolivia.

If we don’t start seeing brands for what they really are, instead of only seeing what they want to show us, we won’t be able, as consumers and concerned citizens, to demand respect and responsibility towards our planet. The only way companies are going to change is if they see a reaction from us towards a more sustainable production and consumption. Let’s change the talk.

IMMAGINE Lena Vargas @lenalaballena 

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Author: elena grinta

I have been dealing with communication for 20 years, I have worked in marketing for large international and Italian companies and I know the mechanisms of advertising persuasion. I decided to invest my know-how and my skills to use the available resources of companies (budgets but also human capital) in positive transformation. Because to students from all over the world I teach at Purpose Brands in Catholic University I wish to give more and more examples of virtuous companies that have invested for the future, of everyone (and there are already many!). Because if we watch, without acting, without taking responsibility, we have no excuse.