Just saw Demi Moore pitch Pepsi’s newly announced http://www.refresheverything.com campaign on Morning Joe (CNBC). What a great idea! Rather than run Super Bowl ads (good positioning), Pepsi is putting their money into this campaign, engaging young people on Facebook and Twitter (as well as those of us who think young) to vote for charity ideas submitted to Pepsi and they in turn will fund the most popular ideas. Check out their website, which is excellent. Andy Serwer, editor of Fortune Magazine, affirmed on today’s program that young people respond to cause marketing.

I’ve long been an advocate of cause-related marketing and public relations as an important way companies can give back to the community and substantively help build and support good reputation. I have an awards program, called the Ebeling PR-ize, at Bradley U and Loyola U. Chicago that reward young communicators for creativity and excellence in cause-related communications. I learned that cause communications can work at McDonald’s, where I helped build the Ronald McDonald House program, Ronald McDonald House Charities, McDonald’s Cares, McHappy Day and other programs that make friends while giving back, in the spirit inspired by McDonald’s Corporation founder Ray Kroc and Al Golin, pioneering head of McDonald’s long-time PR agency, where the McDonald’s Trust Bank concept originated.

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