October is, of course, Breast Cancer Awareness Month. But since its beginning in 1985, marketers find it gets tougher every year to bust through the pastel clutter. Marketing Daily would like to tip its hat to a few that are finding new ways to think pink:
- Yoplait, a General Mills brand, is hoping to raise awareness for its ongoing "Save Lids to Save Lives" effort by painting one woman's house pink.
Joanie Lucas, a 19-year Denver affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, has lost four friends to breast cancer. So volunteers, family and friends all helped paint her house and fence pink, leaving pink handprints and inspirational messages on the fence and in her driveway, unveiling the house in streaming live video on the brand's Facebook page.
The effort is one way to make the fight against breast cancer a little more personal and a little less corporate, explains a spokesperson for Cone Inc., the Boston-based cause-related marketing company that works with Yoplait. "Joanie's story is so compelling," she says. "She's been responsible for raising millions in Denver, where the risk of breast cancer is one in seven. We wanted to make the point that the solution starts right next door." And yes, a crew will head back to Denver in November to return the house to its original color. (Yoplait will donate up to $2 million this year, depending on the number of lids redeemed, and has given $30 million to breast cancer causes in the last 13 years.)
- Estée Lauder is working with Philips Lighting to make its pink lights a little more green. Last year, the beauty company set the Guinness World Record for "Most Landmarks Illuminated for a Cause in 24 Hours." This year, its new partnership with Philips' environmentally friendly LEED technology will pink up some 200 prominent landmarks around the world throughout the month, including Le Grand Palais in Paris, Yokohama Marine Tower in Japan, and 10 locations in the U.S.
- Macy's, which has been participating in fundraising for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation during Breast Cancer Awareness Month for 10 years, has added even more cause-related items to its selections this year, with portions of each going to a wide range of breast cancer-related causes. The retailer says it wants this year's offerings to reach "customers in every aspect of their lives," so it's offering three t-shirt styles from different fashion designers; Clinique's Great Lips, Great Cause Breast Cancer Awareness lip set; Coach's Phoebe bangle; Esteé Lauder's Evelyn Lauder Lip Collection; Conair's Power of Pink flat iron; and Aerosoles Loafer in Pink Pony hair, among others.
- Kohl's has supersized its ribbons, and is running an online auction of 16 artist-designed ribbon sculptures to benefit the Southeast Wisconsin Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The six-foot-tall structures depict the artists' personal connections to breast cancer, and the retailer is displaying the "Every Ribbon Tells a Story" initiative throughout the area. (The chain has also turned its Milwaukee store signs pink for September and October.) It has pledged $7 million over the next three years to local breast cancer research, education and patient-assistance programs.
Meanwhile, Think Before You Pink, a nonprofit formed back in 2002 to bust marketers on their pinkwashing, is calling the Susan G. Komen for the Cure out on Promise Me, the fragrance it launched this year as part of its fund-raising efforts. The group claims the scent contains Galaxolide and Toulene that are harmful to women's health.