Crunch time for Kanzius/Pepsi fundraiser
Although I’ve never experienced it, they say that there is some kind of runners euphoria in the final miles of a marathon.
That endorphin rush is being experienced right now by the supporters of the John Kanzius Cancer Research Foundation, as they attempt to cross the finish line in 1st place and win $250,000 from the Pepsi Refresh project. With just four full days to go at this writing, the cause has jumped from 17th in the first week to number one over the weekend, and it’s supporters are going full-throttle to keep it there.
A massive social and new media effort very early on became a constant on traditional media, and if I’m Pepsi, I’m thinking that this little expenditure of $1.3 million each month is worth far more than exploding fireworks and Michael Jackson (RIP) singing Pepsi lyrics to the tune of “Billie Jean.”
Meanwhile the folks at the Kanzius Foundation have proved to be masters of viral marketing. Blogs, Facebook, and Twitter posts from across the country have been lit up with encouraging messages and links to the Pepsi site. The Times-News reported Monday that the Foundation is leaving no stone unturned for votes. With a strong dose of creativity, Executive Director Mark Neidig arranged for some face time at 30 Rock:
He also said the effort was aided by a trip he made to New York City on Friday and Saturday with cancer survivor Alyson Amendola and her son, Conor, who has said, “I hate cancer.”
They appeared on television Friday morning in the “Today” show crowd holding a sign directing people to the Web site HelpConor.com, which in turn encourages people to vote for the Kanzius Foundation in the Pepsi contest, Neidig said.
They took 5,000 brochures, with information about how to vote for the Kanzius Foundation, and handed them out near Times Square and a billboard about the Pepsi competition. They met a group of girls waiting for concert tickets and asked the group to help. The girls used their PDAs to contact friends and ask them to vote for the Kanzius Foundation, Neidig said.
“This was part of the surge that took place,” he said.
We’re starting to get the picture that this is mutually-beneficial campaign for both Pepsi and the winning causes that far exceeds the monetary award.
Not that it comes without controversy. At post time there were 3,132 comments on the Kanzius voting page, with the vast number being encouraging and providing a forum for memorials of lost loved ones to the disease. But a few are very negative toward the cause, and there has been trash talk back and forth among the leading causes in that race, some quite ugly.
It was discouraging, especially last week as the Kanzius cause was attempting to climb into the Top Two, at how many disparaging comments were made on the sites for an rebuilding of an elementary school as well as a community center for the Boys and Girls club by the cancer research supporters. The “going negative” strategy may work for political campaigns, but it is totally inappropriate when you’re trying drum up support for humanitarian causes.
So, have you voted? It’s easy, especially if you have Facebook, but you have to do it the right way:
- Click over to http://www.refresheverything.com/kanziuscancerresearch
- Click “Vote for this idea”
- Login via Facebook or by registering with your e-mail address
- Click “Vote for this idea” AGAIN
- If you see the voting button go away and some cute little message pop-up, you’re golden!
Let’s keep the euphoria going through Friday night!