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The Braille Burger: Cause Marketing At Its Best.

January 16, 2012

Wimpy's Braille Burger, South Africa

Cause marketing has become very popular over the past decade although it has been around for years. One of the earliest campaigns was in 1976 when Marriott collaborated with March of Dimes. It was so successful that it broke all fundraising records for March of Dimes, while providing hundreds of thousands of dollars in free publicity for the opening of the Marriott Great America entertainment complex in Santa Clara, CA. More recently, with an increase of corporate social responsibility, a lot of major corporations have been jumping on this bandwagon hoping to repeat history — if not a grand opening, then a new product. Social responsibility and the support of non-profit organizations aren’t like pulling teeth anymore either; tying a brand to a meaningful cause might just attract new customers. Cause marketing — when done right — becomes a win-win for all involved.

In a study performed by Cone Communications, it was found that 85% of consumers have a more positive image of a product when the company supports a cause they care about. Let’s rephrase it this way: a good perception equals more purchases. Because of that, we have seen more pink ribbons and more red products in stores, at games, and online. But what if the cause you chose isn’t something that people tend to care about? You make them care with great advertising. That’s the approach South African quick-serve restaurant Wimpy took.

The chain features Braille menus for the visually impaired at all locations. To promote it, Wimpy, with the help of their chefs, made 15 burgers using sesame seeds on the buns as Braille dots and brought them to the top visually impaired institutions in South Africa — I’m sure with the hopes they would write about it, of course. How sweet is that, though?! There are some people out there that feel as though Wimpy is exploiting these institutions, but I dare them to come up with another idea of how to promote their menus to the people that need to know the information the most. Do you create a TV commercial or put it on your website? No. I find it hard to believe that there are more visually impaired people that watch TV and visit interactive websites than those who read Braille publications. This might just be the coolest and cheapest cause marketing campaign in the restaurant industry to date. Watch the video and see for yourself.

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