Soundview Executive Book Summaries

A Look at Successful Cause Marketing
November 24, 2008, 6:52 PM
Filed under: Marketing | Tags: ,

This November, the presidential election wasn’t the only event bringing people out to vote. From Sept. 15 through Nov. 9, people were able to cast their vote about how TripAdvisor would allocate a donation of $1 million to five travel-related nonprofits. The philanthopric initiative—called “More than Footprints”—spanned a number of places on the Internet, including Facebook and YouTube.


The nonprofits that received donations were:


l  Doctors Without Borders : $392,000 based on 39.2 percent of the vote

l  Save the Children : $347,000 based on 34.7 percent of the vote

l  The Nature Conservatory : $137,000 based on 13.7 percent of the vote

l  Conservation International : $70,000 based on 7 percent of the vote

l  National Geographic Society : $54,000 based on 5.4 percent of the vote


I find this program inspiring, and wish I had heard about it before receiving the press release several days too late. This is the kind of thing that, aside from being philanthropic, truly enhances your brand with cause marketing. People that weren’t customers before may find TripAdvisor to be the type of travel company they want to do business with now. It makes me think of Oren Harari and his book Break from the Pack, in which Harari challenges businesses to break from the herd and pull ahead of your competitors with new ideas and innovative practices.


I think one of my favorite ways TripAdvisor informed the public about “More than Footprints” was the YouTube video starring Rosario Dawson. Engaging and fun, this use of video certainly helped to bring in the votes I’m sure.


Finally, let me leave you with an explanation behind the initiative’s name, which I found toward. the end of the press release: “The inspiration for the initiative name ‘More than Footprints’ comes from the popular travel mantra, ‘Take only pictures, leave only footprints.’ TripAdvisor believes people can leave more than footprints behind when traveling—by making a difference in the places they visit.”


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