On Wednesdays we shop pink: Lessons from Asda’s charity partnership

Nov 1, 2023 |4 min read
Asda tickled pink campaign

A pink drink can appeared in a Teams call last week. Our colleague was just drinking her usual Friday afternoon Diet Coke, but this time with a prominent and noticeable message.


Tickled Pink

This particular drink was part of Asda’s Tickled Pink breast cancer campaign, which features exclusive pink products from several different brands. Now in its 27th year, Tickled Pink is one of the UK’s longest running charity partnerships, between Asda, CoppaFeel! and Breast Cancer Now.

While this isn’t the first time Asda’s aisles have turned pink, it is their biggest campaign yet. And coming off the back of a summer of Barbie hype, what better time to continue the obsession with all things pink?


Inspiring social change

There’s an element of fun to the campaign but it does more than add a pop of colour to your household. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month – with slogans like “Check Your Cans” (Diet Coke) and charity donations per sale, the aim is to encourage shoppers to check their breasts more regularly as well as support partnerships with CoppaFeel! and Breast Cancer Now. This year alone,

Over 150 people are diagnosed with breast cancer every day in the UK, so awareness of the disease is less of a concern with such prevalence in the population. Catching cancer early is vital in preventing its spread, so Asda has created “The Real Self-Checkout” to educate women on how to check their breasts for lumps.

Social change doesn’t happen overnight; the first step is getting a cause into public consciousness. Collaborations between brands and charities can benefit both business and the social cause – a symbiotic relationship of sorts. Businesses, especially large corporations, have a broad expansive reach. With profit in mind, they can throw funds at a given cause while also getting the recognition to further their corporate responsibility goals. On the contrary, charities get boosted into the public eye whilst receiving necessary funding.

We are seeing a growing trend towards brand partnerships of this nature. During the summer, IKEA partnered with the housing charity, Shelter, to raise awareness and funds towards the housing emergency of our time. ‘Real Life Roomsets’ were displayed throughout select IKEA stores. (2CVer Becca talks more about this in her blog, 'Opening doors in the home space: to social collaborative input of lived experiences and partners'.)


Benefits for brands

Consumers are increasingly interested in supporting brands that align with their values and engage in meaningful social initiatives. There are a number of benefits for brands in doing this:


What can brands do?

  1. Think about what partnerships are best suited to their brand – authenticity and consistency are key to bringing long-term benefits, while also ensuring there is something they can offer their charity partner
  2. Focus on campaigning and publicity to get the message across – social media is a great way to reach a wide audience
  3. Make the partnership visual – include branding that is easily recognisable and clearly shows what is being supported

Who would’ve thought that a pink Coke can could spark such an important conversation amongst us? Impact-driven business choices that draw on key societal issues whilst doing it in a creative way can really go a long way. All hands on deck are necessary for social change – private, public and charitable sectors included.


Image source: https://www.thirdsector.co.uk/business-charity-awards-marketing-partnership-year-%E2%80%93-asda-breast-cancer-coppafeel/communications/article/1821729