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Even Beyoncé Couldn't Save Gucci's Do-Gooder Campaign

Chime for Change campaign image
Chime for Change campaign image

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Despite the Beyoncé-endorsed mission video, Beyoncé-headlining concert last year, and Beyoncé-gifted donation worth $500,000, Gucci's Chime For Change campaign remains the most unrecognizable major "cause marketing" campaign currently in operation. According to a survey conducted by Ad Age, Gucci's do-gooder campaign completely failed in raising awareness among consumers. In their words: "Not a single one of the people we surveyed had ever heard of it."

Not surprisingly, TOMS Shoes was one of the cause marketing leaders in terms of brand awareness, because even if you live on a llama farm in the middle of Nebraska, you've probably rocked a pair of TOMS at one point. The AIDS awareness campaign Project (RED) was also highly recognized among consumers.

Ad Age credits Gucci's campaign failure with the rise of skeptical consumers combined with too much celebrity endorsement. "Search 'Gucci Chime for Change,' and you'll find plenty of content about celebrity endorsers and Gucci perfumes," the report stated. "Stories about the causes and the women Chime supports? Not so much."

Also, having a specific cause is key. Generic causes including breast cancer, fair trade, made in America, or support for women (Chime for Change's cause of choice) only serve to interest the consumer at the point of purchase. The more desirable long-term brand loyalty is more likely to occur with more specific causes.

· Brands from KFC to Gucci are Jumping on the Cause Marketing Bandwagon [Ad Age]
· Toms Will Now Make Coffee and Give Away Water [Racked]
· See What the Cosmo Digital Team Wears to Work [Racked]