Building on an almost century long relationship with the American Red Cross, Coca-Cola recently added a twist to its interactive vending machines – philanthropy. As part of a pilot program, select Atlanta Coca-Cola interactive vendors will offer customers the opportunity to make a donation to the American Red Cross while purchasing a drink. If customers aren’t thirsty, but still want to make a contribution they can select a donation application on the vending machine screen.

“Using our existing group of interactive vending machines, this donation application gives our charity partners, like the American Red Cross, the chance to directly engage with thousands of people,” says Thomas A. Barlow, senior vice president, Vending/Wholesale, Coca-Cola Refreshments. “Through this technology, we’re connecting worthwhile philanthropic organizations to our most valuable asset – the Coca-Cola drinker.”

For profit businesses have found that customers want to purchase with a purpose. According to a study by Cone Communications 83 percent of Americans say they wish brands would support causes and 41 percent have bought a product because it was associated with a cause.

Non-profits like the Susan G. Komen Foundation, American Red Cross and The Global Fund have gained public awareness and millions of dollars in aid due to partnerships with major brands like Ford Motor Company, Coca-Cola and The Gap. This union of companies and causes to tackle an issue, raise awareness or to generate loyalty is cause marketing. The key to executing a successful cause marketing campaign is forming a beneficial, genuine relationship between a for profit business and a non-profit organization. Cause marketing campaigns that thrive usually work when the for profit’s target audience has a vested interest or emotional connection with the cause.

Is your business interested in setting up a cause marketing campaign? Contact JASE today and let us help you connect with your customers. 

Coca-Cola Retro Campaignimage credit: TWM1340 on Flickr

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