Mixing Marketing and Charity is always a difficult tightrope to walk. There is a fine line between assisting a cause and using a difficult/disastrous situation for marketing purposes. Over the last few days I’ve spotted a few companies who are using Japan’s crisis as a means for their own marketing. Yes, they are still donating but couldn’t they have just donated all the money in the first place? Some will think the below companies are being courageous, I think these social media tactics are a bit sick.
Explore.org are donating $1 for every “Like” of their “Dog Bless You” Facebook Page, up to $100,000. Couldn’t they have just donated the money in the first place? This is a classic example of a devious Social Media “expert” who thinks they have found a way to raise the exposure of their Facebook page through means of a charitable cause. Time is precious in Japan, don’t wait for 100,000 likes, just donate the money now!
Mashable even published an article urging people to “like” Explore’s Facebook Page!
AViiQ, a company who manufacture mobile accessories have also offered another Facebook “like” campaign. As with explore.org each “like” Aviiq will donate $1 to Japan relief efforts.
Only a few days ago they tweeted “Visit our Facebook contest tab for a change to win a free AviiQ portable Laptop Stand!” in a bid to win a few Facebook likes. I wonder if using Japan’s disaster has improved their Facebook “like” statistics?
Spark Energy is a retail energy and natural gas supplier. Whilst they will be donating $5,000 towards Japan relief efforts they have also decided to join the $1 Facebook “like” campaign. I won’t explain this concept again… just donate all the money in one go Spark Energy!
Some good methods to donate towards Japan relief efforts can be found here.
Are the above examples of exploitation marketing? Have you spotted any other ethically questionable marketing tactics relating to Japan’s disaster?