American Marketer


Kiehl’s pledges $100,000 for AIDS research through US East Coast motorcycle ride

August 8, 2011

In-store LifeRide event


Skincare line Kiehl’s has undertaken another fundraising initiative in collaboration with amfAR to raise $100,000 for AIDS/HIV research in which employees will ride along the U.S. East Coast to educate and inform consumers.

The second annual LifeRide hosted by Kiehl’s kicked off July 31 in Pennsylvania. The LifeRide is a week-long motorcycle ride that raises awareness and money for amfAR research.

“Kiehl’s is a skincare company that has been around for 160 years, supporting AIDS research for about 30, and working with amfAR for 20 years," said Chris Salgardo, president of Kiehl’s, New York. "When you look at what is happening with the HIV virus, the only solution is to really find a vaccine and a cure.

“That is what amfAR is dedicated to doing and that’s why we’ve created this motorcycle ride to raise not only money, but also awareness,” he said. “We believe very strongly in this organization and in giving back.”

A view to a Kiehl's

The LifeRide is a seven-day motorcycle ride that involves Kiehl’s employees, professional car racers, motorcycle enthusiasts and volunteers.

This year’s ride is on the East Coast, starting in Pennsylvania and ending at the brand’s New York flagship store.

Along the way, Kiehl’s will be stopping at six of its stores to interact and educate consumers through various presentations.

These stores include the King of Prussia Mall in King of Prussia, PA; the Walnut Street store in Philadelphia; the Burlington Mall store in Burlington, MA; the Newbury Street store in Boston; and the New York flagship store in Manhattan.

For every customer that enters the stores on the days that the LifeRide team is there, Kiehl’s will donate $5.

Consumers who attend on this day will also receive 15 percent off all purchases.

Kiehl's presented $30,000 to amfAR in Pennsylvania

Fans who are not able to attend the in-store events can help support amfAR by buying a limited-edition ultra facial cream online, of which all proceeds will benefit the cause.

In addition, customers can text the keyword LIFERIDE to the short code 80888 to donate $10 to amfAR.

Motorcycle particpants will also stop at the Simeone Foundation Auto Museum in Philadelphia for a private tour and at the Lime Rock Raceway in Lakeville, CT, for a private track racing afternoon.

Kiehl's LifeRide participants on the road

Biker chic

Kiehl’s is promoting the cause and the limited-edition face cream on its branded Web site, as well as on its social media sites.

Fans of the brand can follow along with the Kiehl’s team through the branded Facebook page.

Kiehl’s has been uploading pictures at every stop. As of press deadline, Kiehl’s had uploaded 76 pictures from the LifeRide.

In addition, consumers on Twitter can follow the charity ride progress on the branded Kiehl’s handle @KiehlsNYC, as well as on Mr. Salgardo’s personal twitter account @ChrisAtKiehls, or they can also search the hashtag #LifeRide.

Also, Kiehl’s employees are posting stories, videos and pictures from the LifeRide on the branded blog.

Kiehl's video from the Lime Rock racetrack

Kiehl’s has long been a supporter of social causes.

The brand recently celebrated its 160-year anniversary with a new Kiehl's Gives online voting effort that will benefit charities near and dear to its fans' hearts (see story).

The motorcycle has been a part of the brand’s namesake ever since the first president realized that men would often enter the flagship store, browse and leave without buying anything.

To entertain and intrigue male consumers, then-president Eric Moore brought in his vintage motorcycle collection.

Since then, every Kiehl’s store has played home to a motorcycle.

“A year and a half ago, I thought, ‘these icons are great,’ but I wanted to give them a real purpose where people could see and enjoy them,” Mr. Salgardo said.

“Whether or not a consumer is a motorcycle enthusiast, motorcycles are fun and interesting and exciting,” he said.

“Kiehl’s has always been about the spirit of adventure and doing what you want and being on the road, so this really aligns with our key values.”

Final Take

Kayla Hutzler, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York