There are examples everywhere of large corporations advertising that they will perform some charitable or philanthropic activity in connection to sales, opt-ins, or other forms of engagement with their brand or products. According to this article, the motivations behind these campaigns are not always as straightforward as they might seem. What at first glance appears to be a genuine attempt to do good for people in their communities, it may simply be a clever marketing strategy meant to provide good press for the company.
While there is never a cut and dry explanation that will fit all cases of corporate giving, it is important for the consumer to carefully evaluate the wording of the statement and the conditions behind it. These offers of philanthropy often come with maximum values, donation caps, or other such limiting factors that play a role in restricting the amount that the company will need to give away. These factors should be considered by the consumer in order to make a determination as to how legitimate they believe the philanthropic intentions of the company to be.
It is important to note, however, that there may be many cases of companies employing campaigns such as these with no ill intent, where the decision-makers that implemented the campaign were completely unaware of the way that some people may perceive the philanthropic aspects of the campaign. They may simply be observing what works for their competitors and taking note of their strategies and replicating something similar for their company in an effort to improve their company’s market share or public image, with no ulterior motive in play whatsoever.
In other cases, it may not be as truly philanthropic as it seems. The company may have been expecting bad press in the coming news cycles and ran the campaign as a way to divert the negative press with a positive feel-good story about the company and its good intentions. This can be hard to determine for an outsider that does not have the advantage of inside knowledge of the company and the events surrounding it. It is merely something to keep in mind while considering all aspects of the situation and making a judgment based on as many facts as can be determined and collected.