Saturday, October 15, 2011


I have survived half of Pinktober... Well since there are 31 days in October at noon tomorrow it will be halfway but that is a mere technicality. I have not bought a single pinked thing. The only pinked things I would consider buying are those made by individuals who are giving the money to cancer research or support. I will not contribute to the marketing schemes of the corporate world who pink their products to increase their sales. (Go occupiers!)  I am not getting on my political or anti-corporation high horse here but allow me to explain.

I talked to my mother the other day (who is much better after her medical misadventure and hopes to be freed from her oxygen tank on Monday) and she was telling me she likes her coffee yogurt. There is only one brand of coffee yogurt available around here (coffee yogurt is okay, I couldn't eat it every day but she does) and for the month of October it has been pinked. She was wondering why they would bother having everyone send in their lids because how much money would they donate for each lid. Or go to their website and enter the special code online.

It really is a marketing scheme that works out to the company's benefit. A company could easily make a donation directly to cancer research or whatever. But where are the profits and publicity in that? Why can't the corporate greed get in the way and let the company increase their profits and look like a do-gooder?

So the company pinks a product and makes a big announcement 'for every yogurt lid you send in, we will make a donation to cancer research'. The public thinks they are doing something good by changing their brand for the month and buying the pinked product. The company's product sales go up for the month. And they give their donation of whatever preset amount they were going to give to charity anyway. And maybe they get more converts to their brand from the competition.

And for everyone who sends in their yogurt lid they get a bit more customer interaction which makes people remember the brand more and become more likely to rebuy in the future. Better yet, if they get people to go sign in to their website with a special code, they get their email address and they can continue to promote their product to the customer to increase future sales.

Why do you think these companies do these things? It helps their bottom line. Skip the pinked stuff and suffer for another 15.5 days of Pinktober and then send in your $20 to cancer research or what ever is your passion. You will feel better and the corporations won't get your email.


CancerCultureChronicles said...

I wonder how much we end up buying pink without even realizing it. For example, flying on American Airlines, or using a credit/debit card for which the bank has agreed a pink donation, or any other sort of "behind the scenes" pink marketing deals.

I had to giggle about your Mom's story with the coffee yogurt. I had the same crisis in the grocery store when I was in desperate need of yeast for a baking project. Wouldn't you know it, the only brand they had was the pink Bake For The Cure version. Luckily it was only 49c so I got the yeast.

Unknown said...

I agree with you finally someone who understands my frustration with some of these "non-profit" organizattions--I too bought into it when I was 1st diagnosed with stage 3C BC however after some research I soon found out the biggest breast cancer non profit 3 day walk has her name on everything--but only 20% of what they earn goes to research--someone's getting a big paycheck at the expense of cancer research--I'm pretty sure American Cancer Society gives 100% of proceeds to cancer research and cancer survivor and caregiver programs.
thanks for your blog post

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