What Triggered The Beginning Of Cause Marketing?

Did you know?

The term ‘cause-related marketing’ was first coined by American Express in 1983 for the Statue of Liberty Restoration Project. 

The creation of this term goes way back to the early 1980s in American history. It was used to describe efforts to support locally-based charitable causes in such a way that also promoted business at that time. In 1983, a penny for every dollar spent on the AMEX card was given to the Statue of Liberty renovation program. Over the span of four-month, $1.75 million was raised for the restoration of Lady Liberty. 

Do you see the power? 

According to the Cone Millennial Cause Study in 2006, 89% of Americans between the age of 13 to 25 would keep switching brands of a comparable product if the latter brand was associated with a ‘good cause.’ No doubt, marketing is challenging for any business. 

What Is Cause Marketing? 

The internet says, “Cause marketing is done by a for-profit business that seeks to both increase profits and to better society following corporate social responsibility, such by including activist messages in advertising.“ 

Let’s make this simpler.

‘Cause-marketing’, ‘cause-related marketing’ (CRM) or cause-advertising is a powerful type of marketing or advertising tool that business and non-profit organizations are taking advantage of. As the name implies, it is the process of marketing a specific idea, cause, or goal more than the business itself. 

What Influenced Cause Marketing?

The use of cause marketing has increased in the last few years. Infact, it has become a corporate strategy for several FMGCs’ brands globally. One of the crucial reasons such campaigns work is sole because of the consumers. 

Trust, brand loyalty, environmental and social concerns affect Millennials’ willingness to switch to their favourite brand. Contrary to Generation X, Millennials specifically look for brands to invest in causes and communities that they care about. They expect brands to be socially responsible and are further concerned with their impact on society.

No one knows how this behaviour change became the norm. But over the years, it has dictated the way brands market.

The Present Scenario 

All being said, cause marketing doesn’t work for every other brand. Companies have often embraced important social and environmental issues to create their brand awareness campaigns through cause marketing. 

For example, at the start of 2020, Starbucks released the #WhatsYourName campaign to illustrate the transition of a transgender person as they embark on trailing a new home. 

Starbucks, with their popular practice of writing names on the cups was able to come up with a heart-touching campaign under the tagline ‘Every Name’s A Story’. The idea behind this campaign was to provide autonomy, freedom and acceptance to those within the transgender community. 


In this era of digitization, these socially-led campaigns can and have often incorporated elements of guerilla marketing in their execution. Moreover, as companies are taking their business online, digital marketing is an excellent tool to give a wider reach to a social cause. Through such practices, a well-accomplished and successful marketing campaign can breed loyalty and trust among the customers. 

Conclusion 

Keeping everything in mind, the cause has become primary to consumers. To create a lasting impact, the brand must authentically align and not provide a misguided message for the namesake. With a socially active community, brands need to be careful with their messaging and portrayal of the issue. 

In an attempt to bring the world together, brands are delving deep into cause marketing to bring out the challenges the world is facing today. 

To get more updates from the world of advertising, connect with Windsor Digital. Visit our website, for more details on our services. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *