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Influencing Authenticity through Mobile-Driven Charitable Campaigns

The rise of the mobile era has enabled brands to experiment with a plethora of marketing strategies that can influence and retain audiences, particularly where corporate social responsibility is concerned. One way in which several companies have brandished their authenticity to mobile users is by rolling out charitable campaigns on their social media channels and apps.

By partnering with a charity and creating content solely for this purpose, brands can gain the trust and loyalty of potential customers while simultaneously raising funds for worthy organizations.

Give to get: Fast-casual chain Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt employed this tactic in a recent CSR-led campaign. The franchise asked customers to donate $1 to its chosen partner, nonprofit organization No Kid Hungry, in exchange for a branded augmented reality-enabled coloring sheet. The sheet, which was accessible through the Colorbug augmented reality app, let users virtually color in a stencil of Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt’s mascot. Individuals were able to donate a dollar in-store or online.

The low cost of the donation price spurred more consumers to participate in the campaign, especially when coupled with the incentive of receiving a novelty item in exchange for doing so. Not only did the snack franchise make a positive impression on consumers for donating proceeds to a worthy charity, but it also made a lasting mark on their smartphone screens.

Educational tips: Last fall, American Eagle Outfitters’ lingerie brand Aerie teamed up with breast and ovarian health organization Bright Pink for a millennial-targeted educational campaign. The retailer rolled out a mobile-optimized hub that allowed visitors to take a quiz to assess their risks for cancer and browse materials centering on ovarian and breast cancer awareness. Consumers were also invited to purchase Aerie’s limited edition Bright Pink panties and bras, of which some proceeds were donated directly to the charity.

The campaign did not require individuals to put forth any donation to participate, however—showcasing one way in which companies can use charity partnerships to drive sales of exclusive products, and more importantly, educate consumers on important health topics, free of charge.

Likes for a dollar: Honda opted to influence brand authenticity by introducing a campaign that donated one dollar to a children’s hospital for every Like it received on social media. The vehicle manufacturer developed an interactive virtual reality experience that featured children who were in the hospital over the holidays and visited by a Honda-driven sleigh bearing gifts. A short behind-the-scenes clip was posted on its social media channels, with Honda promising to donate $1 to a select children’s hospital for each Like the video garnered. To top it off, Facebook sweetened the deal with its own dollar-per-Like pledge for the campaign.

By showcasing its altruistic side during the holiday season, Honda was able to promote better brand awareness at a crucial sales point of the year, while also leveraging social media to crowdfund donations.

Mobile-driven charitable campaigns do not necessarily need to take place at the end of the year to be successful. Rather, the potential for success lies in identifying a cause or organization that will resonate with a brand’s audience—and provide opportunities for organic brand exposure. And ultimately, if the campaign happens to educate consumers about an important topic, its benefits will extend far beyond a sole organization.

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Alex Samuely, Contributor

Alex is a marketing and communications professional with extensive experience in analyzing digital and mobile marketing trends. She has also covered brand-oriented mobile strategies spanning the retail, travel, financial services, and food and beverage industries.

Topics: mobile-driven charitable campaigns