Last month, fellow HealthComU founder, Payal Patel, wrote a post about social cause marketing, and it promoted me to investigate and then write about a corporate social responsibility campaign that I have been seeing a great deal about recently.
I have been seeing commercials for Stella Artois’ Buy a Lady a Drink campaign for a few months, and I am as impressed with the execution of the campaign as I am with the effort to address the important issue of the current global water crisis.
For the Buy a Lady a Drink campaign, Stella Artois has partnered with Water.org to raise awareness of the fact that 750 million people around the world do not have access to clean water. In particular, the campaign aims to bring attention to the fact that this crisis has a disproportionate negative effect on women, who in many countries are responsible for walking great distances to collect and carry water for their families. According to the campaign’s website, women around the world combine for total of 200 million hours per day to collect water for their families.
The logistics of the campaign are simple. Stella Artois has donated $1.2 million to Water.org, a nonprofit organization that has transformed communities in Africa, South Asia, and Central America by “providing access to safe water and sanitation.” You can support the cause by purchasing specially designed Stella Artois chalices. (Please note that demand has been so overwhelmingly positive, that there is only a small number remaining—check back on the campaign website for information about availability.) One purchase of a $12 chalice will provide 5 years of water for one person in a developing country.
I think this campaign supports a more than worthy cause, especially after seeing, in my own travels, women walking long distances in both Kenya and Belize carrying water, often with small children making the journey with them. But I am equally impressed with how Stella Artois and Water.org have presented this campaign.
The commercials are eye-catching and dramatic, without being over the top, and the videos presented on the campaign’s website tell gripping stories with headlines like “Could you wait for more than a week for clean water?” and “More than twice the population of the United States lives without access to clean water.” Without appearing to preach to us or be demeaning or condescending to the women featured, the Buy a Lady a Drink campaign highlights an important health problem—and more importantly, it suggests a way to start addressing that problem.
I’m not a beer drinker, and this campaign won’t make me go drink a Stella, but it did bring the cause to my attention and the attention of millions of others. That’s the beauty of cause marketing. Sure, Stella Artois is in the business of making money, and sure, they want people to buy their products, but a campaign like this expands beyond that and serves to bring attention to an important issue. And I like that.
For more information about the Buy a Lady a Drink campaign or about the global water crisis, visit www.water.org.
A version of this post originally appeared on MMG’s the Healthyist blog.