Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Yeah, Let's Talk

Yesterday was Bell's annual "Let's Talk" day, designed to be a "first step towards meaningful change and building greater awareness, acceptance, and action" regarding the stigma of mental illness.
Here are the particulars...
Today, let's talk.
Bell will donate 5¢ more to mental health initiatives for every:
  • Text message sent
  • Mobile and long distance call made
  • Tweet using #BellLetsTalk
  • Facebook share of our Bell Let’s Talk image

I hate this kind of thing. Not the fact that a corporation has launched an initiative to bring attention to and raise money for an issue that needs both of those things. That's actually lovely. Not the fact that it's a pretty blatant publicity grab. I don't have a problem with a big corporation doing something to help people puffing out their chests a little bit. Go ahead and take a victory lap, Bell.
No, what I hate is when corporations tie their donations directly to performance measures that customers have to achieve. Look, you've got $X million in the budget for this? Great. Fork it over. Let's go. Give it to us. I mean, please and thanks and all but don't dangle it like a carrot and sit back watching people engage in a series of stunts for your entertainment. That doesn't seem nice at all. 
"Look! We had more money! Too bad we didn't see a few more of those hashtags, huh?"
Yoplait does this with their foil lid collection and so does Major League Baseball with home runs. I hate those programs too, for the same reason. Especially baseball's "Home Run Challenge" where each home run hit during a certain period equals money donated to the fight against prostate cancer. Why? Because the very real possibility of this happening...
"Wow, what a fantastic catch by Rios! Boy oh boy, he must really like cancer!"
Listen big corporations, you can still have your promotion. You're still entitled to all the publicity and credit you can generate for doing it. All your efforts will be appreciated just as much. Just give us the money, okay?

No comments: