You gotta love the people in charge of fundraising for breast cancer research. They’ve been coming up with some great ideas to get people talking about the cause and wanting to raise money for it.

Just think about all the sports teams you’ve seen in the past couple of years wearing pink versions of their uniforms. This has been at all levels- high school, college, and in the professional leagues. It’s almost not a big deal to see this anymore. Their drive to increase awareness and revenue through donations has been incredibly successful and culturally penetrating. Everyone knows pink is the color of breast cancer research now.

This, in and of itself, is a remarkable story that other non-profits can learn from. No matter the size of the organization, an effort to apply a “brand awareness” campaign to an overall fundraising effort is a marketing necessity. And, if you can challenge some social norm, like “jocks don’t wear pink” and add a little shock value, all the better, right?

But, now, I really have to say that I’m impressed. The Keep a Breast Foundation has been raising money by selling bracelets that say “I love boobies” on it. This follows the “Save the Tatas” campaign by the foundation of the same name. Of course, the message is a little taboo and it gets people talking about the cause. The irreverence of the slogan makes the organization seem edgy and an attractive place to donate money. Who wouldn’t want to proclaim to the world that he or she loves the boobies?

But, the latest twist to this story is true genius. I don’t want to imply that the Keep a Breast Foundation meant for this to happen, but it’s surely good news for them. According to a report in the Time & Transcript online, parents at a New Brunswick (Canada) school

“…received an automated phone call from the principal Janet Miller saying students were not to wear the plastic fundraising bracelets sold by the U.S.-based Keep A Breast foundation emblazoned with the slogan “I Love Boobies” because they were a “distraction.”

As a result, people started choosing sides in this debate and passions have been inflamed. Everybody in town is talking about the bracelets. And the media is providing free advertising and promotion about the uproar.

As they say, there’s no such thing as bad publicity, and in this case, that’s right on. As long as people are talking about the bracelets, people are buying the bracelets, and money is being raised for research.

And, when you tell people, especially young people, that they can’t do something, like wear the “I love boobies” bracelets to school, that’s all they want to do. Brilliant.

Posted on 10 September 2011

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