Roman's Pizza has launched a new campaign where it plans to sell a million pizzas during May 2012, donating R1 from each pizza to Matla a Bana, an organisation involved in the development of child-friendly crime reporting facilities and the training of specialised counsellors to assist in cases of child rape, among others.
In a commercial produced for the campaign, an all-star cast of its former advertising personalities, including Robbie Wessels and Barry Hilton, shelve jokes to promote smiles of a different kind.
The company's marketing director, Bonnie de Klerk, believes that it is every brand's responsibility to engage in at least one cause-related campaign annually. The campaign formalises the company's project, already underway for the past 24 months, but publicly silent. "Cause-related marketing delivers a win-win for both brand and consumer. While it provides an opportunity to show the softer side of a business, it also allows customers to participate in a socially responsible project and a worthy cause to benefit."
"Environment is changing"
This is not the first time that a consumer brand slices margin in support of a cause and de Klerk believes it will occur more frequently. "The brand's commercials are upfront. In our case, we want to sell more pizza. Consumers understand that. The message is offset with a note of care that resonates both with who we are as a brand and our customers. I believe that such instances of cause-related marketing will continue to increase as marketers realise that the environment is changing."
"It appears increasingly that consumers have placed social issues at the top of their agenda. One simply has to view global news to see that headlines are dominated by environmental and social issues, even political input has shifted gear to accommodate this move."
While the change has been slow, first gaining momentum in the 70s when climate change became a talking point; the past decade has seen cause-related marketing accelerate. "Consumers are more vigilant than ever and elective purchase linked to a brand's social contribution will increase substantially in the next decade. In tomorrow's market, the brand that cares, will win," she concludes.