Nonprofit Partner: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Launch Date: September 4, 2012
For the ninth year, Chili’s has rolled out its Create-A-Pepper to Fight Childhood Cancer campaign in partnership with St. Jude. Chili’s guests can participate by making a donation in exchange for a chili pepper coloring sheet to be displayed at restaurants; dine at Chili’s on September 24 when 100 percent of net profits from participating restaurants nationwide will go to St. Jude; or purchase a zipper pull or t-shirt with 45% of the price going to St. Jude. Online, fans can create a virtual pepper or connect with the campaign via Pinterest.
There’s plenty to admire in Chili’s signature campaign, starting with the fact that the restaurant has raised more than $41 million for St. Jude to date, on track to reach the brand’s 10-year goal to donate $50 million to the hospital. Also of note are the multitude of ways consumers can access this campaign (with its iconic red pepper, it’s visually hard to miss), whether online or in restaurants. If we had our druthers, we’d love a bit more visibility behind how the donation numbers break down (e.g. how much consumers donate vs. company) but the longevity of this effort likely outweighs any consumer suspicion about transparency.