Although point-of-sale and pin-up cause marketing campaigns still remain relevant ways to engage with consumers where they shop, more and more brands are looking to connect with consumers through digital – offering online incentives along the way. But brands should beware: it's easy to get lost in an enticing digital bonus while forgetting the connection to the cause.
Pizza Hut is again taking its campaign to fight hunger online. Building on parent company Yum! Brands' longstanding commitment to hunger relief, Pizza Hut will collect consumer donations in-stores and online, all of which will go directly to support the World Food Programme. Pizza Hut hopes to attract consumer participation by offering a free two-week Hulu Plus subscription to consumers who add a $3, $5, or $10 donation to their online order. Hulu plans to give back by donating up to $8 for every customer who continues the subscription for at least two months. The campaign also provides clear social return for consumers, equating money donated to children fed ($1 feeds four children for a day; $3 feeds two children for a week; $5 feeds one child for a month and $10 feeds an entire classroom for a day), making the impact of each donation real to consumers.
Although Pizza Hut's commitment to hunger seems like a natural issue to support, consumers may wonder how Hulu fits into the equation. With no obvious connection to the hunger issue, Hulu seems like an odd partner – although the additional consumer incentive and contribution to the nonprofit are appealing. With a promotional partner that leaves us scratching our heads, Pizza Hut misses an opportunity to deepen issue relevance among consumers and may even risk confusing, rather than motivating, stakeholder participation.
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