Why do I have to click for you to be charitable?

Yes, a philanthropic campaign should support a good cause. But it should also clearly support your business strategy. That’s harder than it sounds. This case study shows how some simple tweaks can increase impact.


“Answer a simple question and Planète Végétal will give two kilos of vegetables to Restos du Coeur (a charity offering food relief in France)”. This message was waiting in my inbox this morning, forwared by a friend, so I duly went to the site, told them what the sum of 10 and 4 is, and presto! They’ve agreed to donate 2 kg of produce to a worthy cause that is struggling to meet people’s needs in these hard economic times.

On the surface, this seems like everyone should be happy now. But from a professional perspective, I feel unsatisfied. 

Planète Végétal has clearly budgeted a food gift of up to 40,000 tonnes of produce because they “limit” the number of eligible clicks to 20,000. So why not just give the veggies and be done with it?

Claiming that their objective is 20,000 clicks in one column (implying that exceeding objectives would be great) and then “limiting” the number of clicks in the next column somehow makes them seem stingy despite their generosity in donating any vegetables at all.

I can only surmise what the strategic thinking was behind this campaign.

  • Planète Végétal is part of a coalition of produce suppliers (called Demain la Terre) dedicated to improving the sustainability of vegetable production. Maybe this campaign is supposed to raise awareness of that commitment? Except the thank-you page doesn’t direct you to Demain la Terre (although there is a mention in the margins). I only looked at it because my professional curiosity pushed me to explore their site a bit. I don’t think the average clicker would be so proactive. The main message on the exit page only has a link to Restos du Coeur, encouraging people to make an additional gift. That’s nice for the charity but since its brand equity greatly exceeds that of Planète Végétal, I’m not sure how many new gifts will result. It was Restos du Coeur that drew me to Plantète Végétal, not vice versa.
  • So maybe the point was to use the association with Restos du Coeur to raise awareness of the new Planète Végétal name (the company was re-branded two months ago). But if that’s the case, why not take the campaign to its natural conclusion? Why not offer me a coupon to purchase Planète Végétal produce? Instead of me having to do math to prove I’m human, why not ask me sign up to receive recipes by e-mail featuring the very vegetables that Planète Végétal grows?


From a strategic perspective, this campaign links Planète Végétal’s core business to a philanthropique activity, and that’s good. But the link could have been stronger, thus building the business case for the company and increasing the likelihood that they would repeat their partnership with Restos du Coeur.

Our clients’ business strategies is the starting point for all the work we do at Prospero & Partners. We help you connect the dots and make sure that everyone involved knows how to contribute to achieving your strategic objectives. What can we do to help? Organize an internal workshop to improve the integration of sustainability into your core business? Help you develop integrated, international campaigns with measured outcomes for your business? Help you design a campaign that will attract potential customers and convert them to loyal followers of your activities on an ongoing basis? Let’s talk about your need and design the best solution together.




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