3M, Bulldawg Marketing and the Give Kids a Smile Program
Cause Marketing can be easily overlooked when preparing corporate budgets. However, when done correctly, cause marketing is nearly impossible to overlook. To be effective, cause marketing must be viewed as something more than a “write-off” or a “feel good” effort. Furthermore, when done effectively, cause marketing can have tremendous benefits not only for the effort being supported, but for the company and partners supporting the effort.
Recently, Bulldawg Marketing worked with client 3M and it’s dental division, 3M ESPE on a cause marketing program called Give Kids a Smile. This year celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Give Kids a Smile program (GKAS) and the results were astonishing. The program kicked off in March at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Speedfest. The event drew over 5,000 visitors to which 3M provided oral healthcare kits.
Partnering with 3M to promote and implement the program were B2B partners Henry Schein, Dexis, The North Carolina Dental Society, Speedway Children’s Charities, Victory Management Group and Bulldawg Marketing.
The program included many other elements. Utilizing Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, 3M produced a PSA for GKAS. Biffle’s car for October’s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway featured a special 3M ESPE/GKAS/Henry Schein Cares paint scheme. A 20×60 trackside tent at the race provided free dental screenings for kids while an x-ray truck provided oral x-rays for the patients. Speedway Children’s Charities helped to identify children in need of dental care that could not otherwise afford it. Once selected, the children were provided transportation to the racetrack for their free dental exam. Overall, over 175 Charlotte-Area children benefitted from the effort. Each patient received a book bag, t-shirt, toothbrush, dental floss and USB drive containing their dental and x-ray files to take home with them. This allows the children to take their files to a local dentist for further care, should they choose to do so.
However, the day was more than a trip to the dentist. Kids loved trying their hand at the 3M NASCAR Simulator – which allowed them to experience what it is like to drive a real stock car. A clown was on hand to make balloon animals and provide face painting. Lastly a caricature artist allowed the visitors to take home a personalized caricature picture of themselves. Both patients and volunteers received behind the scenes tours of the pit and garage areas of Charlotte Motor Speedway.
3M and Henry Schein created a fundraising effort by producing a limited edition die-cast replica Greg Biffle’s GKAS car. Victory Management Group helped to lead a PR effort for the cause. The Charlotte Motor Speedway press conference received great media attention and cast a positive light on 3M as a company.
The tenth year of the Give Kids a Smile program turned out to be a huge success and is the perfect example of cause marketing done right.