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Sunday, August 7, 2011

MTLB For The Cure.

Jersey Mike’s has jumped on board the Susan G. Komen For The Cure cause blackmail partnership bandwagon. I KNOW THIS BECAUSE THE GIANT BAG TELLS THE WORLD. When I saw the sandwich sommelier bagging my tuna on wheat aircraft carrier, I couldn’t help but notice the logofest they were putting it into. When I went to eat later, I didn’t realize the logofest it was wrapped in also.

At this point I’m wondering where don’t they have a field of logos? (Cue sponsorship opportunity for Victoria’s Secret.) Soon as I walked out today, I felt like a jerk carrying a pink sub (literally).* Regular readers here know I’ve given the campaign big ups in the past for their infiltration of the public consciousness using this partnership strategy, but today it felt wrong, mostly because it assumed I support their cause.

Where the (RED)s of the world get it right is that they make it so it that you want to associate with them, even if they leverage the shit out of celebrities to do it. I have not met one person who either wanted to be part of the Komen effort because it was so cool or, Snuggie aside, said “Cool Susan G. Komen merch – ME WANT!”

Even if you don’t support that cause, (RED) at least gives you the option to participate – it’s not forced on you. It’s also then where I notice a vibe I got one other time from a cause, which is a sense of guilt you’ll have if you don’t support them either.

The Jimmy Fund did this brilliantly back in the day when they would show cancer kids before the movies started, all the while as theatre attendants came up the isles literally shaking a can for your money. Cue shades of Sunday tent revivals and hellfire damnation if you failed to cough up even a quarter. That’s a great business model which counted on people not wanting to appear like a jerk for not taking part.

As for another red, the American Red Cross seems to be one group effective at donation 2.0: Give people a way to help in the form of a flat $10 rate you text via mobile. You can either choose to donate or not, but your participation can also be in the form of a retweet, which negates any potential crowdsourced crowdguilt. In other words: I may not have donated, but I did my part by helping spread the word.

Komen’s multiple partnership logopalooza that I once dug is at that point in my mind where it shouts at me without making me want to participate. Their twist on what I can only think is cause blackmail swaps Jimmy’s cans for a messaging overload that’s seemingly everywhere. No one’s forcing you or me to take part, yes.

But we also have no choice not to, either.

*Don’t judge. I didn’t know how big the damn thing was when I ordered it.

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