Macy’s Uplifts Go Red For Women Campaign

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: When nonprofits find the right corporate partners, awareness and visibility sky rocket.

This is true for Macy’s and the American Heart Association as they partner for the ninth year on the Go Red for Women Campaign and National Wear Red Day (Feb. 3), a movement to spread awareness and raise money to prevent heart disease in women.

In partnership with national sponsors like Macy’s, the American Heart Association campaign has raised more than $28 million.

Anatomy of a Campaign

So, what makes this partnership and campaign so special? National visibility and integration.

  • Star Power - Celebrity endorsements and participation always raise the profile of a campaign. This year’s Go Red for Women features Star Jones, formerly of “The View”, who is a heart attack survivor. In addition, actress Elizabeth Banks stars in a short film about a super mom who pays the price when she neglects her health.
  • Online and Offline Integration – From protests to flash mobs, we’ve all seen how the combination of online and offline promotion and engagement makes a huge difference. Go Red boasts many online and offline events to engage women, including a Wear Red Day Challenge on Facebook and Go Red galas, luncheons and meetups nationwide.
  • Retail TherapyShop for Go Red combines the power of many retailers who have agreed to donate a portion of select merchandise to the campaign. Macy’s annual Wear Red Sale customers wearing anything red enjoy a 10 percent or 20 percent discount on merchandise. Starting Feb. 1, consumers can also visit the Macy’s Facebook page to give a virtual conversation heart, or tweet using #heart@Macys which will both generate a $2 donation to AHA (up to $250,000).

Strategic social responsibility puts unicorn and rainbow ideals to work

I’m a sucker for a feel-good story.

Have you seen Liberty Mutual’s “Doing the Right Thing” campaign? Makes me want to do crazy things like hold doors open for complete strangers.

That’s what ideas for good do. They move you – and increasingly, entire corporations – to action. Forget corporate social responsibility. It’s human responsibility.

It’s beyond unicorns and rainbows. It’s about aligning business and brand strategies with a greater mission – one that catalyzes team members for good and one that resonates with consumers.

Along those lines, I’m sharing some cues from a recent PR Week CSR Round Table, featuring real-deal leaders in the corporate social responsibility (CSR) movement who talk building consensus, reaching consumers and engaging online.

Rally the Team – Bob Langert (VP, CSR, McDonald’s): When you can educate and raise awareness of all the different leaders and functional leaders of the company, in general, this is not an issue where you need to push, pull, and prod. All you need to do is unleash the power.

Brand-centric Story Telling – Pam Alabaster (SVP, corporate communications, sustainable development, and public affairs, L’Oreal): Consumers are not really interested in what L’Oreal the enterprise is doing, as much as they are [L’Oreal brands] Lancôme or Garnier, so being able to adapt the storytelling to be meaningful and relevant for the audience is important.

Social Engagement – Dave Stangis (VP, CSR/sustainability, Campbell Soup Co.):  A lot of experimentation is going on with how to get the consumers involved and engaged in our strategy in a way that’s good for them and us. I haven’t seen a company that’s got it right.

Moral of the story? Standing for something will never go out of style.