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, distributed through the Advertising Council and elsewhere, for their respective clients. Bonneville, a unit of the Mormon Church-owned Bonneville International Corp. media company, says 60% or more of its revenues come from sentimental campaigns that use a "heart sell" to win supporters.
But the joint venture will also act as a consultant to match up charitable causes with corporate marketers. 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. 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.
Bozell/Bonneville expects 1995 billings of $15 million to $25 million, based on creative and consulting fees plus media commissions for paid public service messages.
The new agency is based at Bozell's New York offices. But the bulk of the unit's 20 full-timers will work in Salt Lake City.