Clever Cause Campaign: Dawn Saves Wildlife

Proctor and Gamble is the king of corporate philanthropy. Truly. These guys really understand that when done properly – a good cause campaign can not only enhance a brand’s image but can also grow revenues.

P&G has embarked on a campaign that I believe will do just that. It’s called Dawn Saves Wildlife. The crux is that every bottle of Dawn dish liquid you buy equals one dollar toward saving wildlife hurt by oil spills and other pollutants.

They even created this adorable ad to promote the cause. (I defy even the coldest of hearts not to smile watching these little creatures get clean.)

What makes this so clever is that the good deeds are tied directly to product purchases. (Dawn has announced a goal of $500,00 and on their web site, they have a counter indicating they are at $4,986 to-date.)

Speaking personally and professionally – I can tell you when the charitable action is driven by consumer dollars spent, it really works. I was putting together a shopping list earlier today and saw that I need dish detergent. I guarantee you, I will select Dawn over other brands because with this program, I feel like I’m getting something out of it (apart from clean dishes – which let’s face it, every product gives me that!)

That is the power of a really good cause campaign. In 2007, I talked about a campaign from the makers of Always (also a P&G brand) helping girls in sub-saharan Africa gain an education that had the same kind of impact. That – along with other cause campaigns – have been so successful for P&G, they wrote up a white paper a couple of months ago on the power of corporate giving that everyone should read before launching their own cause campaign.

But I digress … back to Dawn. The other thing that makes this such a right-on campaign is that the message ties directly to the brand. As they said on their site: “Animal rescue organizations choose Dawn because it removes the greasy oil—while being gentle on delicate feathers and skin.”

Beautiful. Simply beautiful.

I can’t tell you how often in my career I’ve had clients want to embark on some kind of cause campaign but, while the charities they suggest are certainly worthwhile, they in no way reflect the brand’s message. Here – as with Always Africa – P&G really nailed it by choosing a campaign that speaks to their product, drives purchases and is non-political enough to attract nearly every consumer. (Plus, the cute factor of these animals will play very well with moms who do most of the dish detergent purchasing).

Finally, the web site P&G / Dawn created is very well done with information about cleaning efforts and endangered wildlife, photos of the animals, facts about the campaign and easy ways for consumers to make additional donations. I only wish they’d added some social media tools in the site so consumers can more easily discuss the campaign and share the site with others. But, overall, this is a terrific cause and an even better campaign!

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