Pushing past perceptions: Cause marketing in the age of consumer cynicism
If you’re running a campaign on a particular issue, consider featuring those who are closest to it. Once we decided we wanted to highlight the lives of women farmers, it made sense that we would turn to those same people for help. We worked with a team of mostly women from the Martin Agency to help us execute this campaign. The music video we created featured generations of women from the Dotterer family — real-life female farmers from the Land O’Lakes cooperative. We then went one step further and partnered with The Female Farmer Project to produce a three-part documentary series called “In Their Words,” which features incredible, inspiring stories of women in farming. Video offered us the opportunity to show, not just tell, consumers about the people behind our products.
Follow up with action
Brands have aligned with issues and causes for years, but people don’t trust words — they trust actions. That’s why it’s important to put your money where your mouth is and ensure that you’re really doing your part to make a difference for the causes you’re aligning with.
When we first started researching our campaign, we discovered that 3.1 million food-insecure households are led by single women. Knowing that our brand mission is to “feed human progress,” we saw this as the perfect opportunity to follow up on our cause marketing campaign with concrete actions. To do so, we partnered with Feeding America to donate $1 for every “She-I-O” view, share, tag, and comment, meeting our donation goal of $100,000.
As cause marketers, we have to walk more than we talk. In other words, we have a responsibility to not only take a stand, but to take action as well.