Sunday, February 15, 2009

Companies go Community Service Partnership Route


Frito-Lay TrueNorth's upcoming ad campaign will debut during the Oscars, on February 22nd. It features Majora Carter's organization Sustainable South Bronx, which plants trees around neighborhoods, and creates "green collar" jobs.

TrueNorth is reaching out to baby boomers looking for healthy snacks. This new campaign shows people who have found "their true north" in life. The ads also feature Penny Harvest founder Teddy Gross. Consumers' own stories are also included in the campaign - consumer stories that were submitted at Truenorth.com will also be featured in a 60-second ad, directed by Helen Hunt.

The ad was created by Strawberry Frog. Head strategist Chip Walker said that this message works because baby boomers “are at a stage when they are asking themselves, ‘What am I passionate about in life? What is going to be meaningful to me?’”

According to Simon Sinek, president of Sinek Partners brand consultancy, “With President Obama we are ushering in an era of service. Community service is bigger than green.”

For example, Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes ran it's very first Super Bowl spot, using that spot to promote its “Earn your stripes effort.” The “Plant a seed” spot will encourage moms to nominate local playing fields for renovation at Frostedflakes.com.

“At Kellogg, we are fully committed to supporting programs that encourage kids to be active and that have a positive impact in our communities,” said Kellogg rep Susanne Norwitz. Fifty fields will be selected as part of the campaign.

Scholastic Media is also in this field. They recently launched Clifford the Big Red Dog's "Be Big!" campaign and the "Be Big Fund." It encourages people to spread the word about Clifford's 10 big ideas regarding sharing, helping others, and working together. Scholastic, the Points of Light Institute, and the HandsOnNetwork, are going to work together to implement large-scale volunteer programs later in 2009.

The campaign is being promoted by national print, outdoor, and online ads that say “It only takes a little help to be big.” $1 will be donated to the Be Big Fund for every online Clifford Valentine’s Day card sent from Scholastic.com/cliffordbebig.com.

FAO Schwartz is also participating in this campaign - promoting the cause in its stores as well as its boutiques at Macy’s stores nationwide. 10% of the proceeds from certain Clifford items will also go to the fund. In the fall, Scholastic will follow up with a PSA campaign about the effort.

“The national tone of volunteerism makes the campaign all the more relevant,” said Daisy Kline, dir., marketing for Scholastic Media. President Obama’s focus on community service “makes it timely, but [Be Big!] has been in development long before he was talking about volunteerism. This is a natural extension for the Clifford brand. It is not opportunistic at all.”

Community service has a bigger impact than green messaging “because there is cause and effect,” said Sinek. “Green is too intellectual. Community service is in your backyard. It directly impacts your life. It happens immediately—not 50 years later in the ozone layer.”

source: Is Community Service the New Green?, Jan 31, 2009, Brandweek, By Kenneth Hein and Elaine Wong

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