By Bob Boucher, Senior Copywriter
Marketing is all about creating buzz, right? Well, if you’re a devoted fan of Honey Nut Cheerios® in Canada, get ready for a reverse-buzz the next time you go cereal shopping. The brand’s iconic, illustrated bee mascot, “Buzz,” has disappeared from the package design for the first time ever – replaced with an all-white knockout image.
The good news is that Buzz’ absence is only temporary – from March through May. The much more serious news is that the depletion of bee populations worldwide poses a very real threat to the human food chain.
“One third of the foods we depend on for our survival are made possible by the natural pollination work that bees provide,” said to Emma Eriksson, Director of Marketing for General Mills Canada, maker of Honey Nut Cheerios.i
The cereal giant has thrown its formidable support and brand strength behind “Bring Back the Bees” – an initiative to reverse the rapid decline in bees and its disastrous impact on food supplies. With urban and suburban expansion, plus the increase in parasites and pesticides, bees have significantly fewer flowers and plants to pollinate and regenerate.
General Mills is also giving away free wildflower seeds as part of a Canada-wide effort to encourage the planting of 35 million new wildflowers – available through a microsite, BringBacktheBees.ca. In addition to custom packaging, the General Mills campaign includes a TV spot, contest, sampling, PR, plus a gorgeously shot, emotionally charged online video.
Bring Back the Bees video
So fear not, Canadian Honey Nut Cheerios® lovers. The sting of Buzz’ disappearance will be short-lived. But the goodwill generated by General Mills’ daring marketing move has created a honey of a boost for its brand.
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Lobby image: http://bit.ly/1UYiP4U
Main page video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fbMQUVYuRQ
i “Honey Nut Cheerios Removes Mascot to Spotlight Declining Bee Population,” TIME, March 15, 2016