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Extreme Makeover: Sponsorship Edition (Episode #2)

By Diane Knoepke Nov 13, 2009

See Episode 1 for information about this blog series.

Motel 6’s Great Teddy Bear Roundup

Before: This week, Accor North America’s Motel 6 and Studio 6 brands launched the second annual Great Teddy Bear Roundup. This program asks people to donate new teddy bears at Motel 6/Studio 6 drop-off locations. The locations then deliver the teddy bears to local law enforcement, fire stations and hospitals that use the teddy bears “to comfort children experiencing stressful or traumatic situations.” The 2008 campaign yielded 10,000 teddy bear donations across the country. This year, the local police or fire department in the community where the most donations are made will also receive $6,000. Read the Motel 6 press release here.

Am I heartless enough to pick on such a sweet little campaign? No. I don’t have any criticisms for what they are doing here—it’s local, it’s grassroots, it’s very appropriate for the pre-holiday period. And kids and teddy bears are a match made in warm-and-fuzzy heaven.

What I would like to do is think about how Accor could, if they want to, make this into a measurable, business-building exercise on top of the foundational goodwill gesture. While this may or may not be a goal for Motel 6 with this campaign, I know a lot of companies out there are trying to make each campaign do a lot more for them. So my “After” ideas are in that spirit.

After: Two prime opportunity areas jump out at me: partnerships and customer engagement.

  1. Partnerships. We know a lot of companies are going it alone with campaigns—doing campaigns without properties. And while there are many properties that could enhance such a campaign through reach and borrowed credibility, there are also media entities, other companies, and other brands within the Accor family. These partners would work alongside Motel 6 and Studio 6 to stretch this campaign out into something that could represent a new business partnership for Accor. Character appearances, retail and online promotions, ad space, goody bags for donors and/or customers, in-room treats or entertainment, lobby décor, Accor-wide promotions with incarnations that fit with each unique brand, and so on. Other hotels have created these types of partnerships on a year-round basis—this could be a way for the Motel 6 folks to give such a relationship a trial run.
  2. Customer Engagement. We always hear that the goal for hotels is “heads in beds” so this campaign could also attract customers to book rooms. What about an incentive that any families with children who stay at one of the chains during the promotional period receive a teddy bear per child (they are away from home, after all), and donate another teddy bear per child to the Roundup effort? This way, Accor could demonstrate that they’re joining in the effort by making AND collecting donations. There are quite possibly hundreds of ways to get travelers and customers involved, from cash donation campaigns (e.g., bill roll-ups, lobby or in-room collections, donation from sale) to online games (e.g., get the teddy bear to grandma’s house and a teddy bear is donated).

I’ve just scratched the surface on what an “After” could look like. Let us know if you have more ideas on what can make a nice campaign into a nice business campaign.

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Diane Knoepke

About the Author

Diane is managing director, client leadership for IEG Consulting, where she supports the team’s growth and innovation. Throughout her career, she has advised more than 50 property and brand clients on marketing and social value creation, sales, measurement and strategy. She delights in helping people change organizations more effectively. Follow Diane on Twitter!

 

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