American Marketer


Luxury brands take on breast cancer fight with stories, encouragement

October 31, 2016

Image courtesy of Bloomingdale's Image courtesy of Bloomingdale's


In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, luxury brands are joining the conversation, using their platform to raise funds and awareness for the cause.

From the power of song to stories of survival, brands leveraged their storytelling capabilities to bring the disease’s prevalence and challenges to light. While October can seem to be overflowing with pink merchandise and breast cancer benefits, brands' involvement in the fight gives brands an opportunity to connect with consumers and show their support for those battling the most common cancer among women.

Pink your battle
As part of its #CHPink campaign, Carolina Herrera looked to inspire women who are diagnosed to keep fighting through song. Gathering 18 musicians from 12 countries, the label looked to spread its message through the universal language of music.

CH Pink - Don't Give Up project

Estée Lauder launched a Breast Cancer Awareness campaign with the theme “Take Action Together to Defeat Breast Cancer.” On a microsite, the beauty brand gathered influencers and experts from the worlds of fashion, fitness and more to share their advice and resources on health and well-being.

This Web site also includes a user-generated content hub, which aggregates consumers’ posts of support.

Estee Lauder BCA Strength hub

Estée Lauder's BCA Strength UGC hub

Beginning Sept. 30, the company gave out millions of pink ribbons and educational brochures at its beauty counters around the globe and brought its employees together for walks and other benefits. It also raised awareness by illuminating some buildings, monuments and landmarks, including the Empire State Building, in pink.

Bloomingdale’s similarly lit up its flagship New York store in a rosy hue.

The retailer’s “Give Pink Get More” initiative asked consumers to donate $15 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Depending on how much they spent through Oct. 31, the consumer can get a gift card worth up to $250.

Bloomingdale’s also raised funds for the Breast Cancer Research Fund with a specially designed sweatshirt featuring a Donald Robertson illustration of women’s silhouettes and fundraised for the Marisa Acocella Marchetto Foundation and The Carey Foundation through a series of Pink Yoga classes at its stores.

Giving a voice to its immediate circle, retailer asked its family to share the stories of their experiences with the disease in a short video.

Stella McCartney highlighted the bravery of breast cancer survivors, proving they are #NoLessAWoman for having had mastectomies. A series of photographs by Jane Hutchison, founder of breast cancer support group Hello Beautiful Foundation, accompanies the women’s stories.

Ralph Lauren kicked off its Pink Pony campaign by gathering 1,000 employees in New York’s Central Park. The brand matches consumer donations made at stores and online through the month of October, up to $250,000.

Ralph Lauren Pink Pony 2016

Ralph Lauren's Pink Pony event

A special Pink Pony apparel collection donates at least 25 percent of the purchase price to charities that fight breast cancer around the world.

Pink cocktail themes are this October's leader in breast cancer awareness hospitality initiatives, with the Ritz-Carlton and Peninsula Hotels driving charity sales with special recipes.

While many hotels and resorts are adding shades of pink to their locations in October, specialty cocktails seem to be popping up at numerous venues to raise funds for various breast cancer funds. These initiatives are important because these locations are not just incorporating the pink ribbon for a positive appearance, but are actively raising donations in a manner that appeals to the affluent consumer (see story).