Altruistic marketing
By EDITOR Joel Dreyfuss REPORTER H. John Steinbreder

(FORTUNE Magazine) – The scene could become a cliche: superstar musicians performing for a good cause. First came Live Aid and Band Aid against hunger in Ethiopia, then Farm Aid against financial distress in the grain belt. On May 25, 1986, six million to ten million people are supposed to clasp hands in a 4,000-mile human chain from New York to Los Angeles. The event, dubbed Hands Across America, is aimed at drawing attention to hunger and homelessness in the U.S. The organizer is Ken Kragen, 48, the president of USA for Africa, the organization that produced the best-selling record We Are the World and raised $50 million for African relief last summer. Kragen says he has enlisted singer Kenny Rogers, baseball's Pete Rose, and comedian Bill Cosby as co-chairs. He has also signed up his first corporate sponsor, Coca-Cola, and says he has pledges of support from McDonald's and American Express. Events like Farm Aid and Hands Across America have induced more companies to get involved in what Kragen calls cause-related market- ing, which can become the perfect marriage of corporate objectives with humanitarian concern. Kodak, PepsiCo, and AT&T were sponsors of Live Aid. Farm Aid drew the support of Chevrolet, Miller Brewing, Sears, and Quaker Oats. Companies donate money, provide services, or buy advertising on televised events. ''Causes are realizing that corporations can generate awareness, leverage, and results that would be very difficult for charities to accomplish on their own,'' says John Costello, senior vice president for sales and marketing at Pepsi-Cola USA.