Target Uses Newspaper Ad and Social Media to Give Back to Communities

I’ve always thought highly of Target’s branding, but its cause-related marketing efforts are equally impressive to me.  In fact, since 1946, according to the retailer’s website, “Target has given 5% of our income to the communities we serve. That adds up to over $3 million each and every week.”

Good for Target.

And good for the constituents on the receiving end of such largesse.

Yesterday, in a brilliant, big, double-page spread in The Boston Globe, Target saluted the moms among us (in honor of Mother’s Day) with a short letter (in which the words “more” and “less” were emphasized as a tie-in to the company’s tagline, “Expect More. Pay Less.”) that began as follows…

Dear Mom, here’s a little more love for you.

Thanks for always being the rock of the family. The teacher. The hug-giver-outer. The first voice we reach for when the day is more than we think we can handle. For saying less when maybe you want to say more”….

If that wasn’t enough to capture readers’ attention, a powerful, “pay it forward”-like postscript was added to the letter…

P.S. Let’s pass it on.

Mom, here’s one way for you to keep more happiness going: help Target give away $3 million to deserving charities (did you know Target gives this much every week?)”….

And the folks at Target even went so far as to leverage social media (something every brand, big or small, should be doing nowadays) by asking members of their audience to go to their Facebook Fan Page, where they could tell them “which of these ten charity partners we should give to the most.”

This campaign, which apparently is scheduled for a two-week run, has at least several things going for it…

*Timing. Target took advantage of Mother’s Day to command the attention of its audience of, well, moms. Perfect!
*Messaging.  The ad I read in the Globe was very well written, striking just the right balance between personal, simple and clever.
*Socializing. By driving readers to Facebook, Target is building a community of like-minded constituents, each of whom has the potential to extend the company’s brand by sharing her “vote” for charity with her own respective network of friends.

For a list of the ten charity partners Target is supporting in this campaign, and to cast your vote, go to  http://www.facebook.com/Target.

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