MSN Banks on Cause Marketing with New Web Community

  |  January 14, 2008   |  Comments

MSN will partner with WhatOnEarthIsGoingOn to create an online community to connect brands with consumers through issues they find important.

As cause marketing gains popularity, MSN aims to help it along. The company announced last week that it would partner with WhatOnEarthIsGoingOn to create an online community by which brands can connect with consumers through issues they find important.

The whatonearthisgoingon.msn.com portal will tap MSN's existing user base to create an online community where they can learn about and act upon social issues. The site will then target them with relevant marketing programs from "like-minded brands."

WhatOnEarthIsGoingOn is a set of marketing initiatives put forward by Grey London's former creative director David Alberts to create what he calls socially relevant brands. In an interview with ClickZ News, Alberts said, "Nowadays, brands need to differentiate themselves through their values. Who you are as a brand is just as important to the consumer as what you make, or the services that you offer. Brands will be able to use this as a platform to demonstrate their values to consumers, and feel comfortable in doing so."

"The beauty of the Internet is that we can do this on a daily basis," he continued, adding, "It's sustainable marketing."

Gayle Troberman, head of branded entertainment at MSN said, "There is no one place that consumers can come together to discuss socially relevant issues. This will enable us to harness the power of brands and bring together consumers and marketers with the right causes."

MSN itself already has aligned with the environmental cause in a big way. In July 2007, the firm sponsored the Live Earth series of international concerts in conjunction with the "Save Our Selves (SOS) - The Campaign for a Climate in Crisis" initiative, a pet project of former Vice President Al Gore and others. The Live Earth concerts were shown on MSN, and according to the company, received a total of over 15 million video streams.

Whether brands really care about social causes or are simply exploiting them for marketing purposes is another question. "Consumers are passionate about certain topics, but are also increasingly sceptical," acknowledged Troberman. "Brands need to prove their authenticity, and consumers trust brands that mean something to them."

Alberts sees no reason why effective marketing and the promotion of good causes can't go hand in hand. "We want brands to see a return on their investment, but why shouldn't good messages be spread through good marketing? I love the fact that brands are doing well out of supporting good causes, and I think we should applaud that," he said.

The announcement was made on Thursday at London's World Entrepreneurial Summit in London. The portal itself is currently still in development, but is due to be unveiled "soon" according to Alberts and Troberman.

ClickZ Live San Francisco Revolutionize your digital marketing campaigns at ClickZ Live San Francisco (August 10-12)!
Educating marketers for over 15 years, our action-packed, educationally-focused agenda offers 9 tracks to cover every aspect of digital marketing. Join over 500 digital marketers and expert speakers from leading brands. Register today!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jack Marshall

Jack Marshall was a staff writer and stats editor for ClickZ News from 2007 until August 2011. 

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter.
Get a daily dose of digital marketing.

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

US Consumer Device Preference Report

US Consumer Device Preference Report
Traditionally desktops have shown to convert better than mobile devices however, 2015 might be a tipping point for mobile conversions! Download this report to find why mobile users are more important then ever.

E-Commerce Customer Lifecycle

E-Commerce Customer Lifecycle
Have you ever wondered what factors influence online spending or why shoppers abandon their cart? This data-rich infogram offers actionable insight into creating a more seamless online shopping experience across the multiple devices consumers are using.

WEBINARS

Jobs

  • Sr. Marketing Specialist, PPC
    Sr. Marketing Specialist, PPC (Charter Communications) - StamfordSr. Marketing Specialist, PPC– Digital Marketing Charter Communications...