Not so long ago, corporate social responsibility was just another modern buzz word. Only some marketing and advertising professionals were able to explain what it means. Only a couple of advertising professionals were able to explain how to do it. Advertising in its traditional form is not dying, especially if you are waiting for a bus or for a train inside the subway. During those moments you are forced to stare at the wall full of advertisements in front of you. Advertisements placed in such a way definitely get your attention, especially if they advertise a horror story with some claws and vicious faces covered in blood.
But does this kind of advertising move you? Does it stimulate you to act? If it is about a proper cause, then, probably, the answer is “Yes.” It is very fashionable to be associated with a cause. Be cause marketing-related or die! You can, of course, use the power of the video games, to engage people, it provides a special kind of gratification if a consumer knows that he is playing a game for a cause, a game that helps to promote a cause that is. Sometimes the company or a brand will say that they care about the community, sometimes they will say they they care about suffering – causes are different. But, for sure, to be a cause-driven brand is a popular trend today.
Are there any flip sides to this? Is there unintended effects of being a cause-related brand? Imagine that you are a mobile provider and you want to support a cause. One day, a kindergarten teacher comes to your office and says: “I have a wonderful opportunity for you to promote your brand! If you sponsor our events in the kindergarten, our children will be using only your mobile services when they grow up!” And in how many years is this going to happen?
Or what do you think about an oil manufacturer and producer, sponsoring some “green” event? It is understandable that sponsoring such an event is a great cause, but what happens to the image of such green events sponsored in this way? Not only sponsors, but also, and especially, the sponsored organizations, should think about possibilities of spoiling their image/not getting their profits. No matter how popular the acts of accepting sponsorship and sponsoring may be nowadays, they carry responsibility.