I don’t know about you but I think cause related marketing is out-stripping the marketing brains and balls of traditional product and service marketing.(Perhaps with the exception of technology brands). I guess they just have to think differently in order to make their mark in a world where Charity Fatigue has gone from being a mild complaint to a serious epidemic. Take all the worlds’ Associations against breast cancer. I know its Breast Cancer awareness month, but in just 2 weeks I have come across some great ideas, co-creations  & communications from around the globe….Here’s my top 5 1/2 in no particular order.

1.Mercedes Benz in the Netherlands:

A car specially decorated in pink calligraphy with the names of hundreds of women. The car will be used by the the local breast cancer body (no pun intended) to get around to events etc, but the publicity comes from the calligrapher who penned the names on the car, with the obligatory “making of video” ( these feature heavily in all these types of artiste’ projects) and magazine advertising. Not to mention the outdoor placement of the car itself. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_91vVhONDY . Check out their 1 min 20s video.

2. The Annual Pink Ribbon Magazine:

Granted the circulation of this magazine is probably not mass, the print ads  Grey Amsterdam has created are really moving, simple and thought-provoking.

3. Cheeky Check up in Australia:

The National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre have got into the swing of things with their “Cheeky Check Ups” campaign. Clearly aimed at a younger target this campaign is apparently driven through social media, although having read the blog of a male SCI FI enthusiast, I gather the video content  is also being screened through paid TV or atleast the Sci Fi channel. Hope they are also promoting through female sporting communities like netball (the largest Australian girls participation sport). This message is too useful and important for young women to have to stumble across it on their own.

4. Pink Monopoly in NZ & Pink Handbags in the UK

Selling pink things is a tried and true formula but here’s a couple with a little twist. Monopoly has gone pink in New Zealand and the names of the streets are now the names of well known companies. While Cancer Research in the UK has recruited famous men who have all been touched by the effects of Breast Cancer to model their pink handbags. Liam Neeson is amongst their list of famous pink handbag modellers.

5. Worrying about more important things in Singapore

The Breast Cancer Foundation in Singapore has found a creative and insightful way to connect with women to elevate the importance of checking breasts over checking out the size of one’s butt or the size of a zit on your face. Good confronting work, but still manages a tone chicks can relate to. We get it.

5 1/2. Celebrating More Birthdays

Whilst this is not strictly a breast cancer related campaign, the idea is too good to let it slip through to the keeper. The American Cancer Society is creating awareness and engaging its community and the broader masses by highlighting the number of survivors who celebrate another birthday each year. Their engagement idea is clever and comes in two parts:
1) Commissioning artists and musicians to donate their time to singing a happy birthday greeting and designing artwork for use on wrapping paper and greeting cards; thereby creating the pr-ability
2) People visit the ‘more birthdays’ site and send a personalised birthday greeting to their loved one; sharing the idea with others (increasing viral  potential) and donating funds through purchase.