Get Real. Have cause marketing campaigns lost their way?

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Breast Cancer Awareness from Rosie the Riveter...
Image by Beverly & Pack via Flickr

Pinkwashing. Can the pink ribbon be saved from corporate cause marketing, and actually mean something for women’s health?

This is what Mia Davis asks in her provocative article¬†Next Year, Let’s Skip Breast Cancer Awareness Month on the blog Good.

Is it just me, or do others also think ‘awareness raising campaigns’ have lost their way as they have become all the more entwined with corporate brand and marketing. Reputation, image and market share seem to rule.

My mother has had breast cancer, so I have seen the effect it can have on a family. I have a sister as well, and am an uncle to her two young daughters. I do care about this cause.

My point is that the awareness raising missing the mark. Buying ‘pink ribbons and pink teddy-bears’ gives a chance for people to make a transaction so that they can say “I have done my bit”. Charity is sold out as a transaction. And how has that actually changed anything? Where has the money gone? Is this just another example of commodification of doing good?

A close friend whose wife has recently been diagnosed with the return of breast cancer was complaining to me about the emptiness of some cause-marketing campaigns. Where do survivors of breast cancer go to receive counselling or help?

Awareness raising can be so much more effective. How do we move forward from here?


Did you read the news today!!! It’s all over! Poverty ends for ever!

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Well, maybe not just yet…

Check ou this video that the guys at the Global Poverty Project have come up with. It is a little fun, and provokes some thought.

What is clear from this video is that there is a lot of other great stuff happening all over the place already. This is not about one initiative standing out above another, but together all of these efforts can make a difference, just as together our tiny voices can be heard.

What do you think: Do your actions really count?

Come and join us for the global launch of the 10 City Bridge Run tomorrow meeting at 8 am just behind the Sydney Opera House for a 2.4 km run/walk across the bridge to Milsons Point. Maybe we might fall short of the 100 people, but that is not the point. Much like the Millennium Development Goals, there is still a lot of work to do. How can we improve and achieve what is the desired standard (of 100 people together running 2.4 km) before the G20 Summit begins in Seoul?

We do have a good crowd running. Come and join us. Be present at the start of this journey.

Marketing to the Bottom of the Pyramid

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Author Seth Godin at PDF 2007
Author Seth Godin

Seth Godin uncharacteristically has written more than just a couple of lines in his blog tonight. Hmmm. Something is floating his boat! Read all about it here: the paradox of marketing and the “Bottom Billion”.

He draws upon his work around tribes, and the distinction in world view between someone who is keeping up just surviving, and someone who is pursuing happiness wrapped up inside the latest box of something for sale.

And here’s the kicker: If you’re a tenth-generation subsistence farmer, your point of view is different from someone working in an R&D lab in Palo Alto.

A nice little segue to join three posts from this evening: this one, the previous video about social enterprise (provided courtesy of Seth), and the previous reflection of Peter Singer’s considerations about a nudge.