Is corporate support of charities good for your brand?

USA Today had a special feature today on the charitable giving in the the U.S. Some advertisers promoted their charitable efforts in this section, including one of our clients, Chili’s. We developed the website that encouraged people to “Create a Pepper” in support of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

As the current economic conditions in the country get tougher, I believe that brands that demonstrate a genuine sense of caring will be better perceived than brands that don’t.

A contrarian might argue that the self-promotion of good deeds may be viewed as self-centered and could be met with skepticism by consumers.

What do you think? I’d welcome good (and bad) examples of programs that support your point of view.