#UberMADD: the Importance of Purpose and Alignment in Cause Campaigns

#UberMADD: the Importance of Purpose and Alignment in Cause Campaigns

by Bridget Pooley, Manager of Engagement

Last week, Simon Mainwaring contributed an article to Forbes Magazine emphasizing the importance of defining an organization’s purpose when aligning with a cause, and before developing a marketing promotion around said cause.

While identifying a specific purpose might seem obvious, how often really do organizations partner with causes and actually achieve a partnership that is:

Authentic. Aligned. Calibrated. Coordinated. Impactful. Integrated. Strategic. Synergistic.

Buzzwords, definitely, but also key to generating consumer interest.

Mainwaring recommends a healthy dose of company soul searching, complete with engagement of consumers, employees, and/or leadership when outlining company priorities and beliefs. Once defined, identifying the right cause to put an organizational support and resources behind should follow easily.

The following three campaigns are cited by Mainwaring in his article as examples he believes demonstrate a strong connection between brand purpose and cause:

Can you think of any additional ones he’s missed? Or some examples of poorly aligned cause partnerships (such as the Snapple-Maroon 5-Feeding America partnership we featured in a past post)? Here’s my pick of a winner:


#UberMADD is an ongoing cause marketing partnership between Uber Technologies and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), with the goal of bringing awareness to drunk driving, as well as to prevention, by highlighting ride share apps a solution to driving under the influence.

To kick off the partnership, Uber featured a simple promotional code, UberMADD, which, when used for a ride, Uber donated $1 to MADD, for 24 hrs (wisely, they chose a 6 AM-6 AM time slot). MADD and Uber selected the Fourth of July holiday weekend to launch their partnership, as it is one of the deadliest holidays for drunk driving. For new Uber riders, the reward was even greater – a $10 donation was generated for each new rider using the same promotion code.

Why It Works

  • Purpose: Safety is a fundamental component of Uber’s business model, cited as their “number one priority.” The Uber website’s description of safety encompasses everything from information security – e.g. credit cards and payment processing – to passenger and driver safety through background checks and insurance.
  • Relevance: Uber has conducted preliminary research about the impact of ride sharing on DUIs, with a specific decrease of more than 10% cited in Seattle.