Choosing a Cause

Almost all major companies these days are involved in some sort of social change program, or cause marketing. As a result of the donations given and the awareness raised by corportations, great progress has been made in cancer research, environment protection, and other noble causes. This is not to say that these companies' motives are entirely altruistic. Most companies receive a millions of dollars of free publicity through participation in social programs.

In my opinion, the most effective campaigns come from companies that show expertise in their chosen cause. For example, a car company would have a more compelling case fighting to reduce carbon emissions than by fighting to reduce heart disease.

Additionally, I find it more credible for a company to solve the problems they themselves create, as opposed to solving the problems that others create. For example, Brita has been very active condemning the use of plastic bottles, citing environmental concerns. But the fact that they are a water filtration company set to directly benefit from any type of change diminishes the validity of the awareness they raise. I much prefer seeing campaigns from Dasani and Aquafina, bottled water brands that promote action plans to waste less and recycle more.

Overall, I think that it is a great thing whenever a company decides to get involved in social change. But for maximum efficacy, companies should choose causes that are relevant to themselves and the challenges they face.