Guest post: Why Sensis believes in the cause

After Mumbrella criticised the Facebook campaign by Sensis to give socks to the homeless, we invited the brand to explain its thinking. In this guest posting, Sensis communications manager Danielle Horan explains the background to the idea

The debate about the intention behind the Sensis 1234 Warm Up campaign certainly unearthed a range of differing opinions. On the plus side it created a lot of discussion and has given me the opportunity to tell you first hand what we were thinking when we developed the 1234 ‘warm up’ campaign.

From our experience, working with local charities and community organisations to develop campaigns that are mutually beneficial to both parties involved is not a new concept. Cause-related marketing campaigns are prolific across the world; think Mount Franklin with their pink bottle tops (as noted by a contributor to the article) and Target with their line of t-shirts for Breast Cancer, or PAL with their Pedagree Adoption Drive – who will donate a bowl of dog food for the first 15,000 people to ‘like’ their Facebook page, to name a few. So we were interested in the comments posted on the Mumbrella site that indicated a level of surprise at our ‘warm up’ campaign with Mission Australia.

By definition, cause-related marketing is not corporate social responsibility/sustainability, but activity involving the cooperative efforts of a ‘for profit’ business and a ‘non-profit’ organisation for mutual benefit. The non-profit organisation benefits from the support of an organisation footing the bill to drive awareness of an issue or topic to the public – albeit with their branding attached.

Evidenced by Mission Australia’s commentary, support from cause-related marketing campaigns is very important to their organisation.

Sensis worked closely with Mission Australia on all aspects of this campaign. The challenge: Mission Australia relies on donations of clothes, shoes, socks, hats and blankets among other things to assist homeless people all around the country. The answer: Sensis found a way to help Mission Australia by donating ‘socks’, yes it matched the 1234 brand, and we were happy to help such a good cause in a creative way. All we required was a ‘like’ on the Facebook page – a simple proposition for a good cause, brand awareness that cost people only a ‘click’.

With the campaign achieving its goal of reaching 12,340 pairs of socks in such a short time frame we were surprised at the rate of success, with more than 13,000 people joining up as fans in less than three weeks. The positive feedback from fans of the Facebook page and the rate at which they shared it with friends, was clear evidence that the campaign had resonated with and appealed to many.

All in all we’re really proud to have had the opportunity to work with Mission Australia and we look forward to continuing to support them, and other community organisations and events, via The 1234 Project in the future.


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