As Americans across the nation today honor those who have served our country, many companies are also taking this time to give thanks to veterans in their own ways. In The New York Times, Stuart Elliot showcases at least eight Veterans Day-related campaigns currently underway, including a new way for consumers to bring "cheer" to veterans by sending postcards found on Cheerios* cereal boxes. The article also highlights a new Papa John’s campaign which will extend a special USO Meal Deal for the entire year; donating one dollar for each meal sold.
Corporate cause marketing focused on Veterans Day grows in volume each year, and with good reason: 85 percent of Americans believe it’s important for companies to support military nonprofits, according to a 2010 Cone Communications survey. Yet while many promotions last a short time, a new public service campaign called "After the Parade" highlights the need for a more sustained commitment to veterans’ needs. The program, highlighted in Fast Company, helps raise awareness for the nonprofits Services for the UnderServed (SUS) and provides specific calls to action, including assisting veterans who are entering the workforce. CVS Caremark*, for one, is joining forces with first lady Michelle Obama for the "Hiring Our Heroes" campaign, which will work to provide 100,000 employment opportunities for veterans and their families. And Five Point Snacks, a new snack food company, is making veterans core to its business. Not only does Five Point Snacks make a point to hire veterans, it will also give 11 percent of its profits every day to the Veterans Aid Foundation once the company becomes profitable.
Short-term campaigns are a welcome way to pay tribute on this holiday, giving consumers and companies alike the chance to express their gratitude. But just as during Earth Day, Breast Cancer Awareness Month and other popular cause-related occasions, don’t forget that the core issues don’t fade away as the calendar changes. When it comes to honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans, consider how you can make Veterans Day every day.