Screencap from Brotherton Cadillac's Race for a Ride contestEnlarge Photo
What's great about social networks like Facebook and Twitter is that they're constantly changing. They grow and evolve thanks to user-generated content, and we're always surprised at how clever people and businesses can be, adapting social media to their needs. Case in point: one philanthropically inclined Cadillac dealer, who's tapped the power of Twitter to help five local charities raise money.
The dealership in question is Brotherton Cadillac in Renton, Washington, which has launched a new promotion called "Race for a Ride". Brotherton tapped five charities to take part in the campaign: the Arthritis Foundation (@afpacnw), the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (@HutchinsonCtr), The Moyer Foundation (@MoyerFoundation), Seattle Children's Hospital (@SeattleChildren), and Special Olympics Washington (@SO_Washington).
The gist of the campaign is pretty simple: donors visit the Race for a Ride website to make contributions to their charity of choice. At the same time, Twitter users send out this tweet: "I support XXX in @BroCadillac's #RaceForARide http://bit.ly/Race4Ride", substituting their favorite organization's Twitter handle for the XXX. Every time that phrase is tweeted, the Twitter user is entered in a drawing for a brand new 2010 Cadillac CTS Sedan. When one organization reaches $140,000 in donations, the contest ends, and one lucky Twitter drives away in a new Caddy.
It's win-win promotions like this -- and like the one we saw earlier today from Skoda -- that restore our faith in humanity. (No small task, that.) In this case, the charities earn awareness and much-needed dollars, and Brotherton Cadillac gets a huge brand-buffing, which will likely translate into sales down the line. And all it's done for the dealer cost of a Cadillac. That's money very wisely spent.