Increase the Buzz

Champion a cause that makes sense for your product.

This time last year, Honey nut Cheerios started a campaign to "Bring Back the Bees". The declining population of bees in North America is a topic that concerns all of us. Without bees, we risk losing all of our food crops dependent on bee pollination. And it came as no surprise that Honey Nut Cheerios chose to champion this cause, raise awareness and help the bee population.

Their goal (2016)
Get Canadians to plant 35 million new wildflower seeds (one for every Canadian).

Results (2016)
Over 100 million seeds were planted by the end of the campaign and Honey Nut Cheerios increased sales by 10%.

So how did they do it? Simply put, they championed a cause that people care about and combined this with a carefully crafted marketing campaign. The campaign educated consumers and gave them a way to help out.

"We’ve proven in the past that if you champion something that matters to consumers, you connect them closer to the brand. We’re hoping to create brand love and brand affinity for Honey Nut Cheerios as a result.” - Emma Eriksson, director of marketing at General Mills Canada.

An emotional TV spot told viewers about the problem and then asked them to help "Bring back the bees". Anyone who loves nature and interested in helping the planet will without a doubt be taken in by this video.

They end the video by introducing the new website dedicated to the cause and invited all helpers to "Get Free Seeds". Did you also notice how mascot Buzz disappeared? It artfully makes the point.

This year, on top of the TV spot, giving away free packages of wildflower seeds and removing brand mascot Buzz the Bee from Honey Nut Cheerios packaging, Honey Nut Cheerios plans to do two new things.

They added a awl-through experience by setting up a pop-up grocery store in Toronto this month to show what life without bees would be like. They included science activities for kids, meeting beekeepers and trying on their equipment. Added the experience factor!

In addition, General Mills has partnered with children's network YTV to show bee related segments to educate kids on the importance of bees. Programming is set to in just a few days on March 18th.

This year's campaign goal will be to get another 100 million wildflower seeds planted and will be taking the campaign to the US where it hopes to create even more BUZZ.

“That element (enabling people to get involved) on top of the ads got great response last year and proved that Canadians were interested in supporting the cause, so we will continue the conversation and evolve it from last year.” - Emma Eriksson, director of marketing at General Mills Canada.

Advertising for the social good and is becoming more and more popular.  Companies want consumers to know they care about something other than themselves and meaningful marketing is certainly an effective way of doing that. Especially when it's about an issue people feel passionate about.

What worthy cause can your company champion?

Morty Silber, CEO

Mad Strategies Inc.
a Wizard of Ads Partner