Any marketing campaign that convinces a male Aussie cricket
team to dress completely in pink must be doing something right
Colour can be an enormously powerful marketing tool, as any Diploma
in Marketing student worth their salt will tell you. And there's
no greater example of this than the use of pink to raise awareness of
breast cancer and funding for research. And the humble pink ribbon is
the star of the show here.
The pink ribbon wasn't the first awareness ribbon out there. It was
preceded by the HIV/AIDS red ribbon by about 12 months. But the pink
ribbon is almost certainly the most well known and recognizable. And
the most effective. Any marketing campaign that convinces a male
Aussie cricket team to dress completely in pink must be doing
For many of us, the colour pink can evoke the feminine side of
things. And this includes the women in our lives, especially those
who've been touched by breast cancer. As October is the National
Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Australians will be showered with
everything pink, while exposed to the many different initiatives and
events all focusing on raising awareness and donations for this worth cause.
But a pretty coloured ribbon was never going to be enough to raise
awareness on its own. Part of the pink ribbon's enormous success has
been due to some more traditional marketing initiatives as well.
The traditional marketing definition of celebrity endorsement tends
to involve using the status and reputation of celebrities to enhance a
brand (like Nicole Kidman endorsing Chanel). However, celebrities
touched by breast cancer are using their personal experiences to raise
awareness and funding.
The stories of Australian celebrities who've survived breast cancer,
like Kylie Minogue and Olivia Newton-John, have successfully
encouraged thousands of women to get tested. Other celebrities we
remember for their courage and fighting will, such as Jane McGrath and
Belinda Emmett, continue to help raise funding through their own
foundations even after they lost their own respective battles with the
disease. High-octane international celebrities also provide a reminder
of breast cancer's indiscriminate nature, such as Angelina Jolie's
recent decision for a double mastectomy to eliminate any genetic risks
of the disease.
The old adage rings true - prevention is better than cure.
The National Breast Cancer
Foundation has successfully identified the areas in which
donations are making a difference such as research and development.
According to the NBCF website research has contributed to reducing
the mortality rate by 50% in the last 20 years.
In addition to individual donations, organisations are increasing
their sponsorship and affiliations with charities. While their motives
are pretty much the same as it is for individuals, there's a clear
win-win situation for organisations. Affiliating with charities can no
doubt improve corporate image and brand while assisting charities to
generate much-needed donations.
By far, the desire to donate toward this disease is our love for the
women in our lives. At least that's the justification used by the
growing number of men wearing pink. While awareness of male-related
cancers is also increasing and successfully capturing a share of
donations, men have a soft-spot for the women in their lives.
Participating in fundraising events by wearing pink (such as chosen
cricket events for the Jane McGrath Foundation) is now being marketed
as the manly thing to do.
Today is Pink Ribbon Day. It's estimated that millions of dollars
will be generated through the selling of ribbons, novelties and other
events such as Girls' Night
In. The Breast Cancer Foundation has created unique ways to
generate funds such as events and a range of DIY fundraising ideas.
The pink power will continue until a cure for breast cancer is found.
Hopefully that will be in our generation. In the mean time we can
enjoy the initiatives and events and continue to support and generate
funds toward this worthy cause.
And never underestimate the marketing power of colour for getting an
important message across.