Name of Campaign: Coles gives Redkite a helping hand
Name of Participating Company: Coles Supermarkets
Name of Participating Nonprofit: Redkite
Date Launched: January 2013
Date Ended: December 2013
Total Donation: AUD$5 million in 2013
Type of Campaign: Consumer Donation, Transactional
Editor’s Note: This post is the fourth in a new series highlighting cause marketing campaigns from around the world called ‘Global Voices’. We hope our team of international contributors will shed insights into cause marketing in their home country and inspire you to expand your own purpose-driven horizons.
Every day, four families in Australia are told that their child has cancer. Overnight, their lives are turned upside down. Redkite is one of a number of not-for-profit organisations that exist to help families in this position. From hospital to home, through the entire cancer journey, Redkite is there to help with the essentials such as food, fuel, support, education and counseling.
This year, Coles – one of Australia’s biggest national supermarket chains – is using their considerable national footprint and customer base to raise funds for Redkite.
On Australia Day (January 26th) this year, Coles announced the launch of their partnership with Redkite, setting a massive fundraising target of $5 million AUD (approximately $4.7 mm USD) and kicking off the campaign with two initiatives: a commitment to donate 5 cents from every loaf of Coles own-brand bread sold throughout 2013; and the opportunity for Coles’ loyalty program members to donate their points to Redkite.
Through the month of April, Coles’ customers were given the opportunity to get behind the campaign and show their support in-store. For a donation of $2 AUD (approximately $1.88 USD), customers could ‘buy’ a Redkite paper icon, which they were able to personalize by drawing a face and writing a name. Each sticker then featured in an in-store display. Customers could also donate directly to Redkite in-store and online.
In addition, Coles’ team members embraced the charity partnership, coming up with their own creative ways to fundraise in their local communities. Events included head shaves, sausage sizzles, morning teas, fun runs and in-store stationery bike rides.
The Australian Cause Marketing Environment
This kind of campaign is not common in Australia, although we are now starting to see more brands becoming active in cause-related marketing. Until this past year, cause campaigns were limited to a fairly small number of brands that promoted their partnerships regularly, as well as a handful of brands who responded to natural disasters in Australia (floods, bushfires, drought) and a few ad hoc, one-off cause campaigns. The two major supermarkets, Coles and Woolworths, have been increasingly active over the last few years in a number of cause and community-centric campaigns. While both retailers have been successful in fundraising large amounts of money, this is the first time we’ve seen a campaign in which a fundraising goal of $5 million is communicated loudly and proudly. Considering Australia’s small population of 23 million people, it’s a bold target.
Campaign Strengths – A Bold Target, Visibility and Local Community Engagement
During the month of April, every Coles store around the country had eye-catching paper icon displays, generating massive awareness around their fundraising activities. These in-store fundraising drives were a definite winner. These displays generated a huge amount of awareness of the Redkite campaign; and in the competition for the supermarket shopper between Coles and their key competitor Woolworths, it added a clear point of difference over and above the fierce pricing wars the two retailers are fighting.
The individual fundraising efforts of the Coles team has been a great way to showcase a local community profile and an effective way of driving local engagement. By launching a 12-month campaign with a big $5 million target, Coles took a risk. However, this has proved more a strength than a weakness, given that a key focus is rallying their customers to get behind the fundraising drive. It also adds authenticity to the push towards their target. As of the publication date of this post, the Coles website reports that they have hit the $5mm goal.