Leveraging a Unique Social Point of View to Create Marketing Messaging that Works on a Number of Levels...
A lot exists in the land of distributing your marketing messages. Books, articles, papers, infographics, blogs, interviews, videos, and so much more, articulate the importance of honing in on your brand’s unique message and with it, engaging with your target audience. We spend countless hours in meetings, in front of computer screens, jotting notes on pads, recording memos on our phone, etc., coming up with ideas that best capture our message and creatively presenting it to the world around us.
It’s one of the biggest pieces of your internal marketing initiatives and struggles. It’s true.
What if your next marketing push doesn’t directly involve your own message at all? What if you take an educated, socially fueled look at the world around you and put a unique spin on both it and your brand?
Food for thought.
This is exactly what Honey Nut Cheerios just did, and boy is it a great, simple marketing campaign that strikes right to the core… The message, with hope, yields positive impact on the world, with no negative impact to the brand.
When you walk into the grocery store next, take a jaunt down the cereal aisle and look for the Cheerio section. You know the colors.The branding with the inviting bee on the Honey Nut variety. Ah, there it is. But, wait, where’s the bee? Where’s Buzz?! All that exists is an outline of his comforting and welcoming body. WHAT IS GOING ON?
The answer may not be obvious. But, upon taking a closer look, there’s a call-to-action on the box that simply states, “Help bring back the bees.” Still confused? Upon doing a little research (hello Google), you’ll quickly come the realization that the message Cheerios is tossing out there is relatively depressing, and of vast importance.
Just this year, for the first time ever, the United States placed the bumblebee on the endangered species list. 90% of the population of these bees has diminished since the 1990s – a staggering statistic. While our initial reaction to bees is to run away in fear of getting stung, these creatures are some of the most important on the planet being the key pollinators of wildflowers and about one-third of all U.S. crops, from blueberries to tomatoes.
General Mills, the parent company of Cheerios, is directly (and deeply) impacted by this. According to their website nearly 30% of the ingredients found in their products are dependent on the pollination practices of these bees. In short, no bees, no Cheerios, which is really a microcosm of a much wider and drastic development in the well being of our food chain and eco-system.
Said Susanne Prucha, the director of marketing for Cheerios, "As a General Mills cereal built around nutrition, helping pollinators get the key nutrition they need through fun, family-friendly activities like planting wildflowers is a natural fit. Our commitment to increasing the habitat for pollinators is one way we are continuously striving to be a company that not only makes products people love, but a company that pursues creative solutions to make our world a better place for all families."
So, in conjunction with the deterioration with bumble bee population and fielding quality crops, flowers, etc., Honey Nut Cheerios is enabling buyers to order free seeds from their site (directions are present on the boxes of cereal), to proactively plant them*, and encourage the growth and health of the bees that, in turn, feed us and allow us to grow, learn, and be healthy as well. Winning all around. And, very clever marketing leaving us buzzing with excitement.
Cheerios wins this round with their exemplary take on marketing with a unique social point of a view with deep, well rooted meaning. When you’re thinking about your next campaign, take yourself out of the literal mode of your brand and/or company’s existence and look at the world around you. Perhaps there are some keen and different ways to tie in greater social awareness/significance to your marketing that in turn yield better results and increased visibility from myriad vantage points.
*Be careful about the seeds you choose as some of the plants are banned in different states...