Judged in terms of the fundraising and awareness-raising stimulant it provides, the eight-week promotion run jointly by the cat food brand Whiskas and the conservation charity WWF ranks among the most potent of cause-related marketing deals.
The firm has guaranteed a donation of at least £500,000 to WWF's Global Tigers Initiative through co-branded packs of Whiskas sold between July and mid-September. The 3p per pack donation could mean that even more money will be raised, primarily for anti-poaching patrols in Nepal.
The potential fundraising total is further enhanced by a commitment from Whiskas to give £1 for every image of a domestic cat uploaded by customers to an online collage - 10,000 are anticipated - and opportunities for purchasers of Whiskas to text donations or to adopt tigers. "The partnership is an exciting opportunity to reach new people who might be particularly receptive," says Claire Bunning, corporate partnerships manager at WWF. "Research shows that as few as 17 per cent of UK adults believe tigers to be threatened with extinction."
There are only 3,200 tigers left in the wild, and WWF wants to double that number by 2022.
Miranda Sambles, marketing director of Mars Petcare UK, which owns Whiskas, says the promotion is the largest charity partnership in Whiskas' history and the likely precursor to a long-term relationship. "This is just the start," she says. "We'll inject creativity and topicality to make sure it stays fresh and relevant to consumers but also highlights the plight of tigers."