Two agencies have teamed up to turn "heart sell" into hard sell.
Bozell Worldwide, New York, and Bonneville Communications, Salt Lake City, have formed Bozell/Bonneville, a joint venture that hopes to win a chunk of the estimated $2 billion spent annually on cause marketing campaigns.
Both agencies will continue to produce public service spots, dis-tributed through the Advertising Council and elsewhere, for their respective clients.
Bonneville, a 22-year-old unit of the Bonneville International Corp. media company, says 60% or more of its revenues come from sentimental campaigns that use what executives call "heart sell" to win supporters. That includes work for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Bonneville is owned by the Mormon Church.
But the joint venture will do more than that, acting as a consultant and mediator to match up charitable causes with corporate marketers that can help them while benefiting themselves. The agency will avoid seeking simple donations from corporate foundations. Instead, it will target marketing departments with business-building ideas.
"Philanthropy turns out to be an expense to corporations; cause marketing is an investment," said Bonneville President Richard Alsop, who's vice chairman of the new venture.
"It accomplishes marketing goals by enhancing a company's image and doing good for others in the process," added Chuck Peebler, CEO at Bozell, Jacobs, Kenyon & Eckhardt and chairman-CEO of Bozell/Bonneville.
The executives claimed many causes lack the resources to appeal to marketers' self-interest instead of their hearts.
"We never really approached cause marketing at the national level," said Steven Dickinson, a VP at the American Cancer Society. "We just didn't know how to do it."
And many companies that have toyed with cause marketing tended to approach it as a short-term sales promotion tool instead of a long-term strategic opportunity.
"They're expecting the charity to have cause marketing expertise, but most don't and can't demonstrate how cause marketing can help their bottom line," said Casey Jones, president-CEO of the new agency.
Bozell/Bonneville expects 1995 billings of $15 million to $25 million, based on creative and consulting fees as well as media commissions for paid public service messages. Initial clients are the American Cancer Society and Children's Miracle Network, for which Bonneville already produces spots, and Junior Achievement, a Bozell client.
The new agency is based at Bozell offices in New York, where BJK&E Media Group will handle buying. But the bulk of the unit's 20 full-time staffers, including creatives, will work in Salt Lake City.