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Posted by Sarah Brown on 22 Nov '12

Two high profile examples of charity and business collaborating

Charities and businesses can both profit from working together and getting in the Christmas spirit

For as long as I have been involved with charities, while I was still working for others I was promoting the sense of charities and businesses working together. Both can gain and on both sides it is more than a feeling of good.

So it was with real pleasure that today I read in the paper that two major retailers, Waitrose and Tesco, are doing major campaigns with charities that are clearly part of their Christmas marketing strategy, not just token CSR.

Waitrose’s Christmas TV ad, which you might expect to be a big budget affair is actually a short ad to camera in a barren studio by Delia Smith and Heston Blumenthal, promoting its Community Matters Green Token Scheme. The £1m saved on production costs will go directly to the 1,700 local charities that Waitrose supports through the scheme. It will have a radical impact as the scheme usually only has £600K.

Created by BBH, the ad runs with the strap line “Giving More This Christmas”. Waitrose’s Marketing Director, Rupert Thomas, said of the campaign: “At what is a difficult time for many people across Britain, we feel that Christmas is the right time to give more back to good causes in the communities we serve.” The two celebrity chefs, who have been ambassadors for Waitrose since 2010, also waived their fee for filming the spot.

It’s a great idea from Waitrose, promotes their on-going giving scheme and differentiates them. Most major brands have produced spectacular Christmas TV ads this year. Waitrose has done something different which makes them look good and I bet it will make them feel good and make the tills ring.

Tesco have taken a different tack working with two large national charities, Fareshare and Trussell Trust to get people donating food for those who are struggling this year to feed themselves or their families. The campaign “Help Feed People” running over December 1st and 2nd will involve collecting donations of food in store.

Both retailers are fighting for market share in the profitable lead up to Christmas and have identified that working with charities is a good way to go. The question is how many smaller charities and smaller companies are also thinking of ways to use Christmas in profitable partnerships? We’ll be announcing our charity campaign on the 1st December.

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Tags: charity entrepreneur marketing csr