Avon’s Breast Cancer Awareness Crusade
Avon is the world’s leading direct seller of beauty and related products, with $7.7 billion in annual revenues. The company markets to women around the world through 4.9 million independent sales representatives. Avon wanted to enhance awareness for the company as a corporate leader in the fight against breast cancer and motivate women to practice Avon’s message that early detection saves lives. The company also wanted to support sales of Avon’s Pink Ribbon (the national symbol for breast cancer awareness) lapel pin and writing pen fundraising products. The company turned to CRT/tanaka for strategic counsel and creative solutions.
CRT/tanaka created “Take the Avon Pledge for Better Breast Health” as an umbrella theme to support sales of Avon’s fundraising product – a pen adorned with a pink ribbon – and to underscore the crusade’s core message that early detection saves lives.
Women across America were asked to use the pen to sign a pledge to follow the three-step recommendations to early detection of breast cancer. A number of initiatives supported the campaign, including:
- A “Take the Avon Pledge” flyer and brochure distributed by the 440,000 Avon U.S. sales representatives.
- A personal “Take the Avon Pledge” card that women could sign and keep.
- A print issues advertising campaign during October, which is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
- A direct-mail campaign asking influential women to “Take the Avon Pledge.”
- An online initiative inviting women to e-mail their pledges.
- A nationwide (67) shopping mall-based program where women could sign giant pledge walls and purchase the Avon Crusade fundraising products.
The “Take the Avon Pledge” campaign enhanced Pink Ribbon Pen sales, making 1995 the Crusade’s most successful fundraising year ever. In the fourth quarter of l995, $6.5 million was raised, benefiting more than 300 community-based breast cancer programs.
The Pledge campaign also helped to generate more than 700 media placements (150 million impressions), and draw the support of influential women such as former First Lady Rosalynn Carter and U.S. Senators Olympia Snowe, Barbara Mikulski and Dianne Feinstein.
More than 16 million Pledge flyers were distributed and 68 million women read about Avon’s Pledge campaign via national magazine ads.
Then-First Lady Hillary Clinton taped a special message for the shopping mall events, where tens of thousands of women received free, educational materials promoting the message that “early detection saves lives.”
Importantly, Avon’s Pledge campaign helped to reach women at risk for breast cancer and played a role in generating significant funds for mammography screenings and educational health programs for women in need.