With more and more studies proving consumers want to purchase from brands that align with causes, purpose-driven marketing continues to be on the rise. According to a 2018 Cone/Porter Novelli survey, 78 percent of people in the U.S. believe companies should support a social cause in addition to making money and 77 percent feel more of an emotional draw to companies that back causes.
The nearly 90-year-old cranberry juice company Ocean Spray is quite seasoned at cause marketing. Christina Ferzli, head of global corporate affairs at Ocean Spray, spoke with Ad Age during Advertising Week about Ocean Spray’s latest cause-driven partnership, a collaboration with clothing retailer Vineyard Vines to support Bright Pink, an organization dedicated to educating women on breast and ovarian cancer. With Vineyard Vines, Ocean Spray is visiting college campuses, teaching women about conducting their own breast exams to catch signs of breast cancer.
“At Ocean Spray we’re leading by purpose, connecting our farms to families for a better life, and that better life means more of a health and wellness focus, whether it’s through prevention or creating products that are healthier,” says Ferzli.
Ocean Spray will cross-promote the partnership on its line of pink cranberry juice and will launch a digital campaign to get the word out about breast and ovarian cancer prevention. Influencers will also take part, including possibly some of the college students from the program. Ocean Spray also hosted a pink cranberry harvest and crafted a Vineyard Vines whale made out of pink cranberries on one of its farmer-owned bogs. Ocean Spray is backing up its talk with donations. The brand plans on giving $150,000 every year to Bright Pink.
Supporting a cause can be especially effective when a company has authentic, personal connections to it. Ocean Spray CEO Bobby Chacko’s wife suffered from breast cancer, and several of the brand’s seven hundred family farmers are survivors of breast and ovarian cancer, says Ferzli. The brand has been supporting the cause for a few years, previously backing the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
Ocean Spray also supports a number of other causes. Ferzli said the brand recently committed to all its cranberries being sustainably grown and plans on conserving five acres of surrounding wetland for every one acre of cranberry bogs it owns. It also currently works with the Boys and Girls Club as well as local nonprofits that cater to issues like hunger relief and education.