10 Best Cause Marketing Campaigns 2019 – 2020

10 Best Cause Marketing Campaigns 2019 – 2020

What is Cause Related Marketing?  

Cause marketing aims to raise awareness and funds for non-profits and worthy causes whilst simultaneously driving business. By championing a cause for good, brands can expand their reach while generating positive sentiment with consumers.  

Part of the reason cause marketing has gained in popularity is that most consumers only see the benefit such campaigns are bringing to the charities they support. However, while cause marketing campaigns may mean a short-term hit to profits for one productfor example, the net gain they offer brands often outweighs any sacrifice on their part. 

Cause Marketing during the Coronavirus Crisis 2020 

Many brands have benefited from cause marketing over the years, developing memorable campaigns that aid very worthy causes. In 2020, mainstream cause marketing campaigns have been largely dominated by the coronavirus outbreak. Companies of all kinds have found creative ways to help those in need all over the globe. Below we outline some recent, well-known cause marketing campaigns…  

  1. Ben & Jerry’s – #LiftTheBan 
  2. Iceland x Greenpeace – Rang-tan Palm Oil Campaign 
  3. The Body Shop x Cruelty Free International – Forever Against Animal Testing
  4. BrewDog – Punk Sanitizer 
  5. Airbus, Dell, DHL, Ford, Microsoft, Rolls Royce, Siemens, Unilever & More – Ventilator Challenge UK 
  6. Zara – Facemasks & Gowns 
  7. Cadbury’s & Manchester United – Donate Your Words 
  8. EE – free data to NHS
  9. Decathlon – Ventilator masks 
  10. Nike – face shields 

1. Ben & Jerry’s – #LiftTheBan 

The purpose of Ben & Jerry’s 2019 #LiftTheBan campaign is to raise awareness and pressure the government to ‘lift the ban’ on UK asylum seekers not having the right to work while they wait for a decision on their claim. To highlight this cause, Ben & Jerry’s are advertising designs of unappealing ice cream flavours as a metaphor for ‘things not making sense’.  

Teaming up with Refugee Action, Ben & encouraged their audience to sign a petition to lift the ban, all whilst increasing brand awareness of their product.  

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2. Iceland x Greenpeace – No More Palm Oil  

Towards the end of 2018, frozen food supermarket Iceland pledged to remove palm oil from its own label food, investing millions of pounds to make the change. They are the first UK supermarket to have made this move.  

Working with Greenpeace, a TV Christmas ad campaign was created to raise awareness on the subject. It was subsequently banned from TV for being too political, which in turn raised a huge backlash and only garnered more recognition. It was viewed over 65 million times on social media, despite the TV ban, which additionally highlights the power of controversy in marketing. 

So how did Iceland benefit from investing in this? Greenpeace summarised it well:  

Iceland may be small, but it’s created a huge media storm. If companies want to avoid being shunned by their customers in favour of palm oil-free alternatives, and the industry wants to shield itself from more blanket bans, it’s time to reform.”  

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3. The Body Shop x Cruelty Free International – Forever Against Animal Testing  

In 2018, The Body Shop launched a petition to gather 8 million signatures to end animal testing in cosmetics, globally. They succeeded in doing so, and have taken their petition to the UN.  

This campaign reiterated The Body Shop’s continued fight and stance against animal testing, and reminded consumers about their commitment towards testing in cosmetics. They encourage consumers to only purchase products that incorporate the Leaping Bunny Logo, of which all of The Body Shop’s products contain.  

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4. BrewDog – Punk (hand) Sanitizer 

When the coronavirus started spreading throughout the UK at a rapid pace, BrewDog decided to begin producing hand sanitizer at their distillery in Aberdeen, Scotland to do their bit meet the sudden high demand across the country. 

Since production began their teams have been working continuously to keep up with demand, and have donated hand sanitizer to NHS and care facilities all over the UK. 

Find out more about BrewDog’s hand sanitizer. 

5. Ventilator Challenge UK 

More than twenty UK companies in the engineering, technology and industrial sectors have collaborated to work on Ventilator Challenge UK. This initiative was designed to design, manufacture, and test medical ventilators for distribution throughout the UK, to help fight the effects of coronavirus 

Participants include Airbus, Dell, DHL, Ford, Microsoft, Rolls Royce, Siemens, and Unilever among others, demonstrating the effectiveness of collaboration during this time. 

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6. Zara – Facemasks & Medical Gowns  

A number of clothes retailers, including Zara, have pledged to design and manufacture face masks for donation and for sale during the coronavirus outbreak.  

Already more than 300,000 masks have been donated to patients and health care workers in Spain, and the company is said to be currently looking into obtaining medical grade fabric in order to create medical gowns as well.  

7. Cadbury’s – Donate Your Words 

This campaign was started pre-coronavirus outbreak, and remains to be as important and impactful as ever.  

In an effort to fight loneliness among the elderly, Cadbury’s have collaborated with Age UK to highlight the need for people to reach out and communicate.  

Cadbury’s removed the wording from the front of their packaging, and donated 30 pence of every bar sold, to the charity. 

Find out more about the Age UK and Cadbury’s Donate Your Words campaign. 

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8. EE – Free Data for NHS Staff  

In an effort to show appreciation for the NHS staff who are fighting the coronavirus on the front lines, a number of companies have publicised all kinds of different donations and discounts.  

Among these are phone provider EE, who have pledged to give all NHS staff who have EE contracts, freeunlimited data until 9th October 2020.  

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9. Decathlon – Ventilator Masks 

Sports equipment company Decathlon were approached by ISSINOVA – the Institute of Studies for the Integration of Systems, an independent Italian research institute, for help in the creation of ventilator masks 

Recognising that Decathlon’s snorkelling Easybreath mask had the necessary features for a ventilator, medics at the institute requested CAD drawings from Decathlon to understand its features. They then developed an additional valve which could be made with a 3D printer, which, when combined with the rest of the snorkelling mask, make it suitable for ventilators. 

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10. Nike – Face Shields 

Nike is another sports company that has found a way to produce much needed PPE to medical professionals who are combating coronavirus.  

Working with the Oregon Health & Science University, Nike have been able to design and manufacture full face shields and respirator lenses.  

The equipment uses some of Nike’s existing apparel fetaures, such as collar padding once used for shoes and cords used for sweatshirts and hoodies. 

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Is Cause Marketing Worth It?  

Cause related marketing needs to capture everything your audience holds dear and create genuine social impact. Do it well and your business will benefit from the increase in brand equity. Nearly two-thirds of millennials and Gen Z express a preference for brands that have a point of view and stand for something. 

But you have to do it right. When it comes to social issues, consumer preference is very strong. A recent study revealed that 64% of consumers choose, switch, avoid or boycott brands based on their stand on societal issues. 

For businesses who want to embark on a cause marketing campaign, you need to weigh up the cost of execution against the risk of alienating your audience. 

Choose your cause wisely. Listen to your audience. Invest the money and the time your cause deserves. 

Consumers want to see positive change in the world. We’re all being encouraged to come together and build a better world. Cause marketing has a powerful role to play in galvanising this desire and leading the change. 


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