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Put your Hats on!

Innocent and Petits frères des Pauvres

24th of December, 2007. I’m 13, my mother comes into my room while I am quietly playing the Sims 3. I am trying to kill the few hours left before Christmas Eve. For me, creating cyber individuals, build them a nice house and make them find the love of their life is a good way to do so. Not for my mother.

She announces me that in one hour, we’re gonna leave home, and visit Françoise, a 75 years old lady. My sister, my brother and me will bring her some Christmas presents, and give her some good company.

90 minutes later, we are all seated in Françoise’s tiny apartment, stared by all the black and white pictures representing her and her dead but beloved husband. We drunk some tea, had some nice talk, offered her some drawings on top of the Christmas box the association prepared for her.

I did never forget this moment, neither did I forget this association.

Petits Frères des Pauvres.

It is a French association who helps resourceless and isolated seniors. They do not only provide food or essential goods: they give personal affection and consideration to these people left behind by our society. I am really impressed by all their work, and that is why I wanted to write my first article about this honorable non-profit association.

But, you will tell me, the goal of this blog is not to hear fascinating stories about my childhood. Where is Marketing in all of this?

Well, I entered my supermarket yesterday, and the first thing I saw were these lovely smoothie bottles, belonging to the Innocent brand. And recovering their corks, sweet little hand-knit hats. Tones of different shapes, tones of different colours, it was just a pleasure for my eyes.

I grabbed one the bottles, and I found out that it was actually a partnership between Innocent and Petits Frère des Pauvres. Any kind of volunteers could contact the association, and offer their knitting talents. The hand-made hats would then be transferred to Innocent, which would put it on top of its commercialized bottles. Then, out of each bought bottle, 20 cents would be donated to the organization.

The two organisms set up this partnership 9 years ago. The first year was a success, with 10 000 bottles sold. It will be at least 50 000 for 2015.

In my opinion, this campaign is just fabulous: thanks to the Innocent’s resources, Petits Frères des Pauvres will raise new founds. But mostly, the “knitters” created a real community: it was a chance for some isolated people to fill their days with a new noble goal, and to feel useful to society once again.

It was also a good operation for Innocent, whose public perception clearly improved: it gives more credit to the natural and sustainable image of the Innocent juices and smoothie, and will probably boost their sales. But I think they deserve it.

So go to your nearest supermarket, buy an Innocent bottle, enjoy a delicious fruity smoothie, and PUT YOUR HAT ON!

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