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Meow to create an integrated cause-related marketing campaign: WWF and Whiskas® Help Protect a Tiger

Meow to create an integrated cause-related marketing campaign: WWF and Whiskas® Help Protect a Tiger

Author: John Thompson, director and consultant at Changing Business

Protect a tiger

Waitrose helps WWF protect a tiger

I really like the WWF and Whiskas® Help Protect a Tiger cause-related marketing campaign. As the programme’s supporting copy tells us, tigers face unrelenting pressure from poaching, retaliatory killings and habitat loss. They are forced to compete for space with dense and often growing human populations. Without urgent support, they could disappear from most of their range within a generation.

That being so, WWF aims to secure a future for this iconic animal by focussing on 12 global priority tiger landscapes, led by staff in Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam. Together, Whiskas® and WWF will provide increased protection in key habitats, working towards WWF’s aim to double wild tiger numbers by 2022. They will also focus on protecting Bengal tigers in the Terai Arc region of Nepal. It’s one of the few remaining strongholds for this magnificent species, home to around 120 adult tigers.

Central to the fundraising and marketing aspect of the campaign is an on-pack promotion targeted to raise £500,000 through sales of special branded boxes of Whiskas® and the highlighting of similarities between customers’ domestic cats and the wild tiger.  The packs are vividly branded and prominently merchandised by participating retailers that include Waitrose, Tesco and Pets At Home:

For every special Whiskas® Help Protect a Tiger pack purchased Mars agreed to pay 3p towards a total fund of £500,000 to WWF-UK (World Wide Fund for Nature). Trading Limited.

“Just like the little cats who share our homes, tigers are graceful, independent spirits. However, unlike our smaller feline friends, tigers are under threat. Over the last 100 years, populations of wild tigers have fallen by over 95% and as few as 3,200 remain.”

The programme was supported by extensive TV advertising, a comprehensive use of social media and a dedicated website packed with information about the issues as well as the specific promotion:

As well as generating a donation through purchasing a branded pack, customers can also donate £1 by texting TIGER to 70123 and click through to WWF’s website for details on how to adopt a tiger.

Both parties cross-promoted the partnership via Twitter using the hashtag #ProtectATiger.  For extra leverage, and to maintain interest, various other accompanying promotions were launched over the summer period. For example, at one point customers were encouraged to generate an extra £1 from Whiskas® (up to max of £10k) by posting photos of their “tiny tigers” to a special online “Catservation” gallery

All in all, it’s a brilliant integrated win-win-win promotion; well planned, highly informative and expertly executed. In fact, I’d say it’s a purrrfect example of claws-related marketing.


John Thompson is a fundraising consultant with particular expertise in cause-marketing, sponsorship, strategy development, partnership marketing and executive recruitment. A blogger on UK Fundraising since 2006 with a background in corporate fundraising and public relations.

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