I am a huge proponent of using the power of branding for good in the world. Many a strong brand campaign has helped raise money, build homes, stop poverty, and fight disease. Non-profits are now getting hip to the fact that effective marketing can be used to incent change and action – and not just to sell ShamWows.
Have any of you seen the heartwrenching TV ads for the ASPCA, featuring singer Sarah Maclachlan? While her haunting melodies play, we are shown images of frightened, neglected and then happy, safe dogs and cats. Every time I see this TV spot, I break down in tears. The campaign is a large effort launched around raising the profile of the ASPCA. The look and feel of the TV ads drive you to a similar branded website, which also corresponds with an email newsletter. This rebranding effort started in 2005 and was the result of work with Saatchi and Saatchi. It was designed to raise funds and differentiate the ASPCA from the other animal-related charities out there. The main theme is “Speak for those without a voice” and this has extended into the future phases of the rebranding. The fresh color scheme and style guidelines are hopeful, professional, neat and heartwarming. The bright orange and soft gray palette makes you feel hopeful; it also modernizes and freshens up the image of this venerable organization, so that I subconsciously feel they know what they are doing and will spend my donations wisely.
This is what attracted me, via the newsletter, to become an ASPCA Guardian. With just $18 a month, I can make a difference in the life of a rescued animal. As part of this branding campaign, I also will receive a free T-shirt and a photo. Sort of like adopting a child. Their process to get me from awareness to action is flawless and multi-faceted. I have seen the ads, which then primed me for acting on a Facebook petition, which then led me to sign up for an email newsletter, which now ultimately has led to my donation. There is also the quick path of just seeing the ad, and then going to the site to donate. But I love that they give you options to act according to your own readiness. That is effective multi-touch marketing.
On a personal note, I hope you will also join me in this Guardian program to help cats and dogs have a better, happier life and get them out of abusive homes and situations.