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January 24, 2022

Cause Marketing Should Be More Than a Feeling

Tony Treadway

Cause marketing blog article.

Cause marketing seems to be an essential component for any brand in 2022. We’ve conducted numerous consumer surveys that indicate that post-pandemic consumers now expect brands to invest their own dollars and corporate energy into something worthwhile. However, there is a big difference between simply cutting a check and building your company around a purpose.   

One brand, in particular, Red Gold®, was literally formed from a cause—supporting our troops. In 1942, this family-owned and operated company from Indiana opened its doors and began feeding soldiers in World War II. That was 60 years before becoming a Creative Energy client, but their passion has not wavered over all that time.   

The most recent evidence of that commitment is partnering with a veteran-led charity called Folds of Honor, which provides scholarships to families of fallen military heroes. It’s a cause whose values align with the Red Gold heritage and passion that sparked their creation many years ago.

It didn’t take long for the Reichart family, now the 4th generation of Red Gold leadership, to act. They began setting aside a portion of the proceeds for Folds of Honor from every bottle, packet, and cup of its newly branded Red Gold Folds of Honor Ketchup sold at participating supermarket retailers and restaurants.

In 2021, Creative Energy worked with Red Gold on phase one of promoting this new Folds of Honor Ketchup in the B2B foodservice space. By the end of the year, enough Red Gold Folds of Honor Ketchup packets were sold to restaurants to generate millions in sales and hundreds of thousands of dollars in proceeds to Folds of Honor scholarships.

The next step was natural—broadening the message to consumer shoppers and restaurant patrons. We kicked this off by supporting “Folds of Honor Day” messaging during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 and then on to launching a large integrated campaign to the general public in several targeted metropolitan markets.

The Red Gold Folds of Honor TV commercial focuses on a family of a fallen hero.

For such an ambitious and important campaign, the creative needed to drive emotion, pride, and action while educating the viewer on the product and cause. The solution was “The Letter.” TV and video content tells the story of a widowed mom finding a college acceptance letter in her trash can. Her son had discarded it in hopes to avoid adding any additional financial strain on her. She confronts him later at a diner and explains that his college dream can come true through Folds of Honor and companies like Red Gold who support them.

Cause marketing blog article.
Behind the scenes of production in Nashville, TN.

The media strategy for this powerful message leverages OTT/CTV based on behaviors and geo-targeted intelligence focused on veterans and active-duty military families who also loved sports. This enabled smart, efficient targeting at a lower cost per impression than traditional cable or broadcast TV. The strategy was also designed to reward retailers and restaurant chains for offering Red Gold Folds of Honor Ketchup by tagging commercials, placing digital billboards and focused social media posts with their branding, and directing consumers to their supermarkets or restaurants.

The campaign launched in Chicago, Dallas, Nashville, and Tampa ahead of the biggest day in pro football and will continue through 2022 as new retailers and restaurant chains are added in major markets to share the story of “The Letter.”

Kudos to an All-American, family-owned company that has built its existence around supporting great causes like this, and to a team here at Creative Energy for telling such a powerful story with the right amount of emotion.