at the intersection of brands, media and culture

Penny for Your Thoughts…Actually Less

In Consumers, market research, marketing, strategy on March 11, 2008 at 3:01 pm

Confused Sign
Originally uploaded by kudaker

So, I got this email a couple of minutes ago from Synovate, a reputable firm, who is working on an online survey with Wells Fargo. I got the whole, “we are going to donate to charity on your behalf” thing. Which is sort of like the fake Christmas presents that say someone donated to X charity on your behalf, also known to recipient as “the giver doesn’t give a crap about you but wants to look good” gifts.

But why is Wells Fargo doing it? Are they simply planning to pocket the non-profit donation and write it off against their taxes? Do they have such a small budget for the project that they thought giving people $5 would look too cheap but giving it to someone else would be okay? Why the altruism? (Can’t be for altruism’s sake.)

Yes, maybe I’m a bit cynical and over-intellectualizing this, I’ll cop to that. Read it yourself and see what you think. I quothe:

Dear Wells Fargo Customer,

In an effort to improve products and services, Wells Fargo is inviting a select group of customers to participate in a survey. Synovate, an independent market research firm, is administering the survey on behalf of Wells Fargo.

In appreciation of your time, Wells Fargo will make a $5 charitable donation for each completed survey, up to a maximum of $15,000. Later in the survey, you will be asked for your choice of one of six charities where you would like your donation to be allocated. Thank you in advance for your time and feedback.

About this survey:
The survey will take about 15 minutes to complete.
blah, blah, blah

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