The first rule of charity advertising : be specific

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Heard a couple of radio spots over at Radio Indigo which were about Saving the Tiger. Well known personalities like Anil Kumble and Harish Bijoor came on air and said that they have pledged for the cause and asked listeners to do the same. All very well, but a minor point was missed out. How am I supposed to support the cause? The details are available on the website and involves sending in a donation.The intent is commendable but I was reminded of some of the cardinal rules of Direct Marketing, especially with relation to Cause Marketing.

1. Direct Marketing campaigns that ask for donation to a specific cause must always specify the exact call for action: is it about calling a number, visiting a website? Make the call for action clear. Don’t just leave it at a conceptual level asking for a pledge or a commitment to support. Ask for a specific action. After hearing the Radio Indigo spots, I was left wondering what I am supposed to do. Empathize with the cause? Agree with it?

2. If the cause marketing involves donation, specify the exact amount that is sought. A generic ‘donate now’ is likely to extract donation only from the die-hard believers in the cause. The likelihood of fence-sitters and those ‘who want to help but don’t know what to do’, taking action will be higher if the amount is specified. Ask shamelessly: how much would you like to donate? 500? 1000? Any other amount? Such a direct question is likely to goad someone into action.

3. Make an offer: even if it’s a social cause like ‘Save the Tiger’, an offer of a post card or a ‘Thank You Card’ is likely increase call for action.

All this is not meant to de-mean or mock the efforts of Radio Indigo and the Save the Tiger project – just some thoughts to improve chances of success, based on my limited experience in Direct Marketing. Makes sense?

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  1. Couple of points to add :

    a) The campaign does not talk about how these guys ( if at all) will go about saving the Tigers- what/how they will use all the good samaritans money ( not visited their website though but then is there a mention of the website address in the radio spots)

    b) In one of the spots we have a foreigner announcing the need of saving preserving the tigers in his “COUNTRY” or yes the debate can be that the announcer is an Indian but then why the accent ?? Or is it that the expats have started considering India as their country >

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