General Mills Canada takes top marketing honor
General Mills Canada was recently named “Marketer of the Year” for 2014 by Marketing magazine.
The honor came late last week, for a series of purpose-driven campaigns that created a flurry of media attention and social media buzz.
“Honestly, we were stunned to have broken through,” says Dale Storey, vice president and marketing director for General Mills Canada.
Among the high-profile Canada campaigns were “The Cheerios Effect.”
The campaign about human connections encouraged people to share their personal stories online, and also featured people interviewed by the team for a video series, which included a gay couple and their adopted daughter.
In addition, the Canada team’s “Never Say Dieting” campaign warned of the dangers of yo-yo dieting and its effect on young girls. At the end of the “Never Say Dieting” ad, there is an understated reference to Multi-Grain Cheerios.
“Not only did the campaign help change lives, it also moved the business,” Dale says.
Dale provides more detail about how that campaign came to life, in this interview in Marketing magazine.
But the breakthrough marketing created by the Canada team didn’t end there.
“How To Dad,” a fun tribute to fatherhood under the Peanut Butter Cheerios banner, countered the often negative ways fathers are portrayed in the media.
In addition to being named ad of the week in July by AdWeek, the U.S.-based National Fatherhood Initiative gave General Mills Canada its “Fatherhood Award” for its positive portrayal of dads. (It also was used in the U.S., for Honey Nut Cheerios).
Other well-received campaigns from General Mills Canada in 2014 included this work for Nature Valley, to encourage more children to get outside to explore nature. A video showing a Boys and Girls Club on a field trip to a conservation area captures the spirit of the work.
Marketers from General Mills Canada also were involved with effective campaigns for Old El Paso Restaurante, Lucky Charms and Pizza Pops (similar to Totino’s Pizza Rolls).
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