Cheerios Bring Back the Bees – A Public Education

 In Make or Break, Marketing

While there is a general branding rule of never messing with your logo, the Cheerios campaign to #BringBacktheBees is a perfect example of an exception to that rule.

Earlier this year, the initiative set out distribute 100 million wildflower seeds to Canadians to help and plant bee-friendly environments. Granted, while most people flail and run at the sight of a bee, the issue at hand is that massively declining bee populations in North America stand to impact us much worse than a sting ever could.

Bee pollination affects ecosystems that in turn naturally (and cost-effectively) sustain agricultural production. The White House estimated that the economic value of bee pollination is in the billions and found that bees affect about a third of US food supply. Meanwhile, bees are rapidly declining due to loss of habitat, climate change, and chemical usage.

Cheerios Bring Back the BeesWhat I love about how Cheerios packaged this Bring Back the Bees initiative is that they not only make it cheeky and meaningful to their brand by losing Buzz Bee, but the follow through gives the program legs. Between social media exposure and an information-rich website, the campaign has the critical component to further their key action/conversion (planting seeds) as supported by tons of content (stats, videos, infographics, press coverage). The co-sponsor, Veseys (a Canadian seed company), has subtle branding on the site but is the perfect fit to bring the right amount of credibility to the campaign.

Putting together a program like this takes impeccable timing to meet the deadline of spring of planting season. Rolling out stops at retail locations to hand out seeds is a great part of the grassroots effort, and would provide opportunities for PR and media coverage at a local level.


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