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” (CRM). What exactly is involved in a “linear CRM”? The cause supported by the company is not necessarily a charity’s––it has to do with marketing.

Take for example hackvertising, a strategy of multi-award-winning Chief Marketing Officer Fernando Machado, who launched some of the most interesting campaigns in the last few years, including Dove’s Real Beauty sketches and 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 among a range of citizens not used to taking part in such conversations and raising public attention of an issue that may not have received much attention otherwise. With this project, Burger King underlines that brands, thanks to their share of voice, their ability to be heard, can direct the gaze of citizens towards urgent current issues playing a role well beyond the pure player within their market.

For another example, look at the new Barbie’s strategy as described by Alaina Crystal from AMV BBDO. Crystal digs 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 body shape that is unattainable for most girls, communicated a positive message of girl empowerment with Imagine the Dossibilities, and in 2017 their “Dads Who Play with Barbie” campaign aimed to broaden their audience and broke prejudices against men partaking in feminine activities. However, while Mattel has taken positive steps in its communication, it has not communicated a responsible plan for the company’s 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. There is a potential danger that the brands’ commercial aims (selling more burgers for example) could 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.