After the overwhelming flurry of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales this past week, a new trend is emerging to give people a reprieve from self-serving spending. Started in 2012 by a non-profit, Giving Tuesday is a national call for people to donate to charities. Last year on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, 700,000 people participated and helped non-profits raise over $116 million (GivingTuesday.org).
88% of people believe that companies have the power to affect societal change (Stylus, 2016). Brands are leaning into this responsibility by participating in Giving Tuesday to raise awareness and help people direct their money to relevant causes. Fashion designer, Tory Burch, auctioned off unique purple purses with 100% of the proceeds going to domestic violence victims. Through free giveaways and a matching donation text program, T-Mobile donated money to local Boys & Girls Clubs. Heinz Ketchup donated $1.57 to the Stop Hunger Now foundation when people posted a selfie with a Heinz bottle at participating restaurants.
Similar to anti-Black Friday movements, Giving Tuesday is a reaction to the over-commercialized and rampant consumerism that tends to contradict the altruistic undertones of the holiday season. Like anti-Black Friday programs such as REI’s Opt Outside or Patagonia’s “Don’t Buy This Jacket”, brands are trying to connect with people over real purposes and causes and not just dollars and cents. With the growing resentment towards seasonal hype and relentlessly commercialized holidays, it’s about time that brands reconnect with the real meaning of the season and help make a difference. In the future, as brands and retailers consider their holiday campaigns and activations, it will be more important for them to stand for a cause than offer up a great deal.
Image Source: Business Wire