Are you surviving the pink invasion?

You know this already: October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and pink is everywhere.

In stores, restaurants, lapel pins and car magnets. In Pink Glove Dances by health care workers. Even on the football field.

The "pink movement" is one of the strongest and best recognized health-related causes in existence. Estimates are that in excess of $6 billion is committed to breast cancer research and awareness each year and some have criticized that big business is profiteering on the back of the disease.

Yes, pink sells.

But pink also saves. 

Come in for the savings and leave with a little education and awareness.

The tsunami of pink promotions keeps coming. My weekly email from BJ's Wholesale Club points me to their well-done and subtle pink site, which links to the Early Detection Plan from the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The Early Detection Plan uses an iPhone app or an online service to send you reminders to do self-exams and get mammograms, based on your age, health and family history.

You're seeing a lot of pink. Embrace it. 

Just don't forget about all the other great causes, for equally deserving research into equally devastating diseases, that don't have the power of pink behind them.


Do like I say, not like I do

"Can I get a light?"

That's what a young boy asks in this video PSA, titled "Smoking Kid," from the Thai Health Promotion Foundation and produced by Ogilvy & Mather. The video went viral and won a number of coveted advertising awards.

But the magic here is not the video itself — it's the guerrilla tactic of having a child ask for a light, be rebuffed by smoking adults and then present those adults with a card that reads:

You worry about me? But why not about yourself?

This campaign shows that adults do, indeed, understand the dangers of smoking — they can recite them to the child asking for a light. 

As Mike Allen of Jennings Co. stated in a recent blog post:

Most adults know that smoking is very harmful, but when you present it this way, it hits you right between the eyes. Watch it and see what I mean.

Yes, watch it. 

There is also growing evidence that graphic ads have led some to quit smoking, perhaps as many as 100,000 Americans already this year, according to a story in The New York Times. The piece quotes Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH, Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, which launched the campaign.

“I think the fact that you may die is not highly motivating to people. The fact that the remainder of your life may be very unpleasant is, and that’s what the data show. Not only do smokers die about 10 years younger than most people, but they feel about 10 years older than their age.”

So death doesn't motivate, but feeling old does. Well, whatever works!

The CDC campaign is called "Tips from Former Smokers."

Sources: Jennings Co. & The New York Times


The Irish are on to something

An enterprising young fundraiser in Ireland has hatched a novel idea to help small non-profits who need a bit of a lift.

It's called Charity Hack 2013 — a 12-hour design charrette of sorts that brings together a team of professional fundraisers to create campaigns to help neophyte non-profits.

Kevin Delaney, the self-proclaimed Hacker-in-Chief whose day job is coordinating Ireland's version of the Relay for Life, concocted the idea with the hopes of giving struggling non-profits a way to tap into some talent they otherwise never could have afforded. 

Delaney and his team have picked five Irish organizations that will benefit from kick-ass fundraising campaigns and are hoping to gather 25 fundraising pros to provide their expertise (they're almost there!).

The results? Well, we'll find out. They get together on August 10 in Dublin to work their magic.

This is an incredible example of how "crowdsourcing" and "kickstarting" can make communities richer and more connected.


I bought new sandals … and cleaned a beach!

Cause marketing rolls on. 

My new Tevas are awesome — and there was more awesomeness when I opened the box.

I learned I also did a little something to improve the environment.

The shoes fit and feel great. And now I have an even warmer feeling about the company, too. 

Health care systems, hospitals and physician groups can be the recipients of localized cause marketing by partnering with selected local merchants.

It already happens regularly with the "buy a star and support a charity" promotions in grocery and convenience stores and with promotions from community-minded companies like Dunkin' Donuts, which supports local blood banks. 

Go out and find your perfect health connection!