Dakarai Turner

Buy a Shoe, Change the World: A Look Into Cause-Related Marketing and the Millennial Mindset

March 7, 2017

Sunday night – scrolling through Facebook as usual making internal comments about people’s posts and then an article jumped at me. A friend and co-worker of mine shared an article about Adidas making shoes from ocean plastic and it was something that I had to read immediately. I suggest you all read the article from Global Citizen, but essentially Adidas will be releasing a pair of shoes that will do its small part in cleaning up the oceans that are filled with 8 million tons of plastic each year. Reading this article had me thinking about cause-related marketing and our expectation for brands in 2017.

According to Cause Good, “64% of shoppers say simply giving money away isn’t enough; they want businesses to integrate social impact directly into their business models“. With that being said, I wanted this article to spark that level of thought amongst whoever is reading this. Especially as millennials, do you personally find yourself leaning towards brands and products that work towards making a lasting, positive impact on the future?

To put things into perspective, these new Adidas shoes are going to come attached with a $220 USD price tag. With that being the case, will you be more inclined to purchase these running shoes over another pair $50 cheaper? Assuming that you love both styles, and the comfort level is the same. The main difference being that one will have some sort of impact on a better future, while the other will not. We strive to be a part of change in today’s age, and this is reflected with the brands we support. Millennials demand instant feedback and usually care to see an immediate benefit as a result of their actions. Buy a shoe, fix the world.

We are seeing several brands over the last few years adopt a cause-related marketing strategy. Attaching your brand to a relevant cause in today’s age is almost an automatic winner, and the reason is simply because we as consumers want to feel as though we are making a difference in the world. Whether it is something incredibly minimal as buying a $220 pair of shoes contributing to reduce plastic waste in the ocean, we are going to do it. Buy a shoe, fix the world.

So why don’t the majority of us simply donate to charities solving the problem directly and eliminate the retail middle men? At the end of the day, yes we want to save the world, but we also want to get something else out of it. Sure, I can donate x amount of money to a charity that solves x problem, but I also want a really nice pair of shoes in which one purchase would cover two purposes.

Millennials are pro-social minded and they support brands that carry the same mindset. These Adidas shoes are going to be something big for the sole (yup) reason that we all want to buy a shoe, and saved the world.

I’d love to know your thoughts on brands that adopt a cause-related marketing strategy. Does a brand’s impact on the world factor in your purchase of a product? Let me know in the comments below or on our Facebook post!


Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Let us know what you think!