It’s October, which means Breast Cancer Awareness Month has begun. Traditionally, this is the month when multiple brands turn everything pink and come up with cutesy hashtags to sell those pink products in support of breast cancer awareness. But while most brands just want to show they care, some go about it the wrong way, resulting in the problem of pinkwashing.
Fortunately, brands are starting to learn that donating one cent per sale of pink products to breast cancer research organizations is not exactly helpful. In fact, some brands have gotten chastised for selling products with known carcinogens, all in the name of ending breast cancer. That’s why many companies are now being more careful during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, such as by donating more to the major breast cancer research organizations and sharing the stories of breast cancer survivors instead of merely turning everything pink and selling it. Here are four brands that seem to be doing a good job this October.
Considering that this brand sells fitness clothing for athletic women, it makes sense that Athleta would do something for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In fact, this brand is doing a lot, starting with a free yoga class every week for the month of October at several of its retail stores across the country. After each yoga class is an event during which guests can eat, socialize and shop, and a percentage of any money spent at that time will be donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
Athleta’s digital support of breast cancer research is evident on its website, which displays the stories of seven breast cancer survivors. This feature was also shared once on the brand’s social media pages, though this is the only mention those pages have of breast cancer awareness so far.
Here’s another brand that one would expect to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and it doesn’t disappoint! The Hooters website is currently pink, with pink ribbons incorporated in the logo. Featured prominently on the homepage is a checklist to help with early detection of breast cancer, along with tips on how you can help Hooters raise $1 million for breast cancer research. Some of your options? Buying a Hooters calendar or pink bracelet to support the cause.
There’s also the #GiveaHoot hashtag that encourages people to share why they fight and who they fight for. While few of the brand’s Facebook posts mention breast cancer, the cover photo echoes the website’s tips on how you can help raise money to fight against the disease. The Twitter page is similar, with a few posts urging people to buy Hooters calendars to help fundraise for breast cancer research.
This airline has partnered with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation – a group that puts 91 cents of every dollar toward breast cancer research and awareness. And Delta’s website makes it clear how it’s helping raise money – over $1 million per year since 2005, in particular. For example, 12 years ago, the brand came up with Breast Cancer One, an airplane with a large pink ribbon painted on it. And on flights during the month of October, employees wear pink and sell a variety of pink products, such as pink lemonade. Plus, the website features the stories of breast cancer survivors who are also Delta employees.
This brand’s commitment to breast cancer research fundraising continues on its social media pages. On Facebook and Twitter, you can see pictures and watch videos of breast cancer survivors taking a trip on the Breast Cancer One plane.
The grocery brand’s website isn’t as blatantly pink as some sites look in October, but it only seems subtle at first. When you click a link about breast cancer on the Kroger site, you’ll be taken to a separate website devoted to the cause. This is where you can read stories from breast cancer survivors and find out how to share your own on social media using the #SharingCourage hashtag.
And of course you can watch videos and see posts with the stories of survivors when you head to Kroger’s Facebook and Twitter pages. You can do the same from your phone or tablet using the Kroger app.
These are just some of the brands that seem to be doing a great job with Breast Cancer Awareness Month by actually spreading awareness and raising money for research, not just profiting off pink products. Is your brand including this topic in its marketing plan this month? If so, how?