Friday, July 29, 2016

Will you visit Subway and buy Dasani for a good cause?

Subway and Coca-Cola are partnering on a clean-water initiative.  For every bottle of Dasani sold in participating Subways by August 31, Subway will donate 30 cents to World Vision - up to $125,000.

In order to humanize the effort they are telling people that a 30-cent contribution is enough to supply clean drinking water to one person for one month. 

The dedicated site for the program $38,000 in donations in the first 24 hours, and was up to $45,673.08 at posting. (Lukovitz, 2016)

Will this promotion motivate you to visit Subway and drink Dasani?  Will it motivate anyone else?  And, what happens when they reach their goal?  Will they inform people still coming to the stores that their donations are now being made to Subway and Dasani?  Why cap the effort at all?  Is it misleading that they do?  Will it affect your participation?

Lukovitz, K. (2016, July 26)  Subway, Coca-Cola Launch Clean Water Cause Marketing Campaign.  Retrieved July 29, 2016, from


  1. Feels like a wolf in sheep's clothing here. AND they cap it, so they know exactly how much they want to donate. They could have just donated that small amount without shilling hoagies and bottled water. I'm more a fan of brand compassion not attached to a sales gimmick. Like "In the month of August, Subway will donate 500K to water-deprived regions" PERIOD. Support subway cuz we support a cause. I'm not going in to Subway to buy "spring" water in a (wasteful) plastic bottle to help change the world. I know of better ways to donate my money directly to a cause.

    This campaign doesn't seem particularly misleading, just soft, but to someone who reads over it quickly and decides, "eh, i'll do some good today and buy a Dasani" then it could be effective for Subway. They sell more water and sandwiches for, by corp donation standards, a small price.

  2. Because I'm not a consumer of Subway, this would not attract me enough to consume one of their subs. It seems like an empty donation and I don't have much weight in it. I wouldn't feel like I personally am doing much, so that impulse to participate isn't there.

    However, if I were already a Subway consumer, the campaign may make me buy Dasani water instead of a soda, as there would be the added incentive of "doing good."

    It is weird to cap a donation, but if you look at the flip side, saying that the company is donating $XYZ creates no incentive to participate. It's just a publicity stunt. So I believe that Subway has come to this number by some calculation (perhaps based on the extra revenue they predict will come with this campaign or based on their annual revenue). This is a more palatable way of donating and it directly involves the consumers, engaging them with both the Subway and Dasani brands while associating them with doing good.

  3. I don't think the Clean Water Cause campaign itself, will drawn me to a Subway directly. But if I would be waiting in line to pay for my sandwich, and I would see the ad or commercial for the cause, I think there's a good chance it would persuade me to purchase a water bottle. Why? Because it is an easy and 'cheap' way to do good. Moreover, people can feel good about themselves, without much effort, and become part of a community. 'Donors' can even tweet about their support to this good cause by using the hashtag #igavecleanwater. And will it all be for nothing after? No, I don't think so. Because the donors now probably have a more positive attitude towards the partnering brands, that link themselves to this clean water initiative.

  4. I'll admit that I used to go to subway because it was literally on my way to work and was a fast fix for my desire for a tuna melt. However knowing that .30 of the profit of the water will be redirected to that cause only would make me consider if the "final number" weren't so small. We are talking about SUBWAY + COCA-COLA, and an donation of $125k...that somehow doesn't add up in my head. Getting to the bottomline here. "Does that make you buy something?". Honestly, no!