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Cause Marketers Get Halos

By The NonProfit Times - June 24, 2013 in New York City won the Cause Marketing Forum’s (CMF) 2013 nonprofit Golden Halo award for its agility in moving between the worlds of its teen constituents and corporate partners. Judges were impressed by’s long history of engaging corporate partners and its ability to provide results for its corporate partners, especially in its partnership with clothier Aeropostale and the Teens for Jeans campaign.

“With Aeropostale, it’s easy to see that they get hundreds of thousands of teens in their stores during off-times; how can that not be good” for the bottom line, said Megan Strand, CMF’s director of communications. is “a rare organization able to bridge both worlds” of their constituents and corporate partners, she said.

CMF, of Rye, N.Y., announced the winners of its 2013 Halo Awards contest at its annual conference, held this year in Chicago. Automobile maker Subaru won the Golden Halo for corporations.

Subaru won this year because of the auto maker’s evolution in branding and the evolution of their Share the Love campaign; Strand said she was excited to see Subaru add a social media element to its Share the Love campaign, which allowed Facebook users to vote on two “People’s Choice” charities to include as recipients in the campaign.

People’s Choice winners in 2012 were The Alzheimer’s Association and USO, and Share the Love has generated about $25 million in its five years of existence. “They have a longstanding campaign and they’ve seen some really interesting branding positivity in associating their brand with love,” said Strand. “Watching them evolve that program stood out to us.”

Six judges select winners and runners-up among campaigns run in the previous calendar year based on four judging criteria: conceptual strength, execution, business results and cause results. Finalists in each category were notified in March, with the winners announced at the conference. The winners were featured in a recent issue of industry magazine Advertising Age.

Strand found interesting the employee engagement aspects of some of the winning campaigns this year, she said. “Employee engagement happens a lot and cause marketing happens a lot, but it’s rare that they come together like this,” said Strand. She pointed to social service campaign silver medalist ARAMARK and message-focused campaign winner Time Warner Cable as two examples of strong employee engagement.

“A lot of winners did an excellent job leveraging existing business assets, and employees are a part of that,” she said. “It’s an evolution in cause marketing to get that employee piece because employees are your ambassadors. It becomes a little more authentic.”

The 2013 Halo Award winners are:

  • Best Transactional Campaign: Million Moment Mission–L.L. Bean and National Park Foundation
  • Best Social Media Campaign: TELUS and Free the Children Campaign
  • Best Message-Focused Campaign: Time Warner Cable Brings Space Shuttle Endeavour Home–Time Warner Cable and Califronia Science Center
  • Best Video: Warriors in Pink–Ford Motor Company, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, Young Survivor Coalition
  • Best Health-Related Campaign: Every Step Counts—Kohl’s Department Stores and Susan G. Komen Southeast Wisconsin
  • Best Environmental or Animal Campaign: Million Moment Mission—L.L. Bean and National Park Foundation
  • Best Business Model Integration: TerraCycle
  • Best Social Service Campaign: Brewing the American Dream—Samuel Adams Brewing and ACCION U.S. Network
  • Best Education Campaign: Turning Agents Into Educators–Horace Mann and
  • Best Print Campaign: Let’s Solve This–ExxonMobile

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