Oral Healthcare Advertising with a Cause: Enhancing Brand Awareness through Altruism

by Kristen Martinez
Associate Copywriter


May 9, 2018

At Lanmark360, we’re proud to work alongside brands such as the ones mentioned here not just because of who they are, but because of what they stand for. If we can help them expand their reach and at the same time help raise awareness of a cause or social issue, then we’ve really done our job.

It’s in our DNA as healthcare marketing professionals to write attention-grabbing headlines, design interactive websites that engage the user, and help sell the big ideas that we believe can turn into dynamic campaigns with the power to make change. But aside from the intrinsic motivation to create impactful work that complements our portfolios and most importantly pleases the client, is the desire to do something great for humanity.

Although a compassionate mindset isn’t necessarily required to be a marketer, it’s definitely required to be an effective one. Not to mention, it’s a fact that product or service advertising containing an altruistic mission or obvious “ask” for good are more successful when it comes to audiences taking the next step. Here’s the proof: in a survey from Cone, 91% of global consumers said they would likely switch to a brand that supports a cause (given a similar price and quality), 92% revealed they would purchase a product with a social and/or environmental benefit, and more than two-thirds (67%) have done so in the past 12 months of the survey being conducted.

That said, to help fuel the fire when it comes to taking a concept and turning it into a magnetic campaign that attracts the target, we use cause marketing. This philosophy, applied since the beginning of industry times, can simply be termed as marketing that advocates for a greater cause. Or for a more official definition, CauseGood refers to it as marketing of a for-profit or business which benefits a nonprofit charity or supports a social cause in some way.

Normally, when we think of cause marketing we think of consumer advertising. For instance: Starbucks®’ World AIDS Day or Coca-Cola® and World Wildlife Fund®’s partnership initiative to raise money for the research and conservation of polar bears. However, cause marketing is everywhere, including in B2B healthcare advertising.

Oral healthcare advertising by nature tends to heavily focus on the clinical features of a product, which is key as that’s what dental professionals want to know, yet it often falls flat in respect to emotion and ingenuity. So, when we as healthcare marketers want to do our jobs by providing clients with unique ideas that balance out clinical content with a human element, cause marketing is the answer.

One company that breathes life and injects social conscience into their professional marketing and advertising is Colgate®. This global leader in dental product manufacturing continuously represents its belief of “everyone deserves a future they can smile about” by keeping the sentiment part of every initiative. Two examples of how Colgate implements cause marketing in an impeccable way are through their partnerships with the Make-A-Wish® Foundation and Scientific American.

Make-A-Wish (MAW) is a recognized campaign among dental professionals and undoubtedly one of their most heartfelt; as it raises awareness of life-threatening childhood diseases while promoting oral health. With each material developed under MAW, dental professionals are asked to purchase Colgate kids’ toothbrushes with the knowledge that the company will donate 5% of the sales to the MAW Foundation. More donations mean more wishes granted for children fighting for their lives.

Unlike the MAW campaign where there’s a clear “ask,” The Future of Oral Health employs cause marketing that raises awareness of a major social issue. Keeping that in mind, in 2017, was launched. This website, a digital replication of the print publication, targets dental and medical professionals and provides education on oral health from a global standpoint, specifically emphasizing the oral-systemic link. Ultimately, the objective is to bridge the gap between the medical and dental communities and showcase how collaboration between the two can significantly improve the world’s health.

In this competitive industry where being tough enough to handle the long hours and having an even tougher skin are essentials for survival, the rewards always outweigh the exhaustion, nail-biting, and anxiety of writer’s block. For effective marketers, we know what we do helps people and that’s why we continue to go to sleep at the dead of night only to wake up a few hours later and head right back to our desks for another day’s work.

Interested in continuing the conversation about marketing and advertising in the oral healthcare space? Reach out to Lanmark360 today and we’ll be in touch shortly.

View more of our posts