When AutoNation launched its Drive Pink campaign in October, CEO Mike Jackson wasn't sure it would pass what he calls the McDonald's test -- essentially, breaking through to the average working person. On Day 4 of the campaign, he learned firsthand that it did.
In a hurry on his way to a meeting, Jackson went through a McDonald's drive-thru for lunch. Upon seeing his AutoNation shirt, the cashier asked him whether he had a pink license plate frame on his car. AutoNation distributed the frames as part of Drive Pink, both a marketing effort and a fund-raiser for breast cancer research. The cashier volunteered that she had bought a car from a non-AutoNation dealership a few months before but she would have gone to AutoNation if she'd known about its support for breast cancer research.
Jackson's wife, Alice, a breast cancer survivor, delivered a pink frame to the cashier the next day. "That's a future customer for us," Mike Jackson said.
Such reactions are why AutoNation is sticking with its cancer focus for the long term and changing its logo to add a pink line. The retailer has distributed 500,000 of the pink plate frames and just ordered another 500,000, Jackson said.
"Our commitment is long term and open ended, and therefore we will make the pink license plate frame a part of the brand AutoNation, and our effort to raise funds and find a cure for cancer will be ongoing all year round," he said.