At 20, Box Tops gets a digital reboot
U.S. students heading back to school are being greeted by a 20-year-old friend who is a lot more tech-savvy than in years past.
To kick off its 20th anniversary and digital reboot, Box Tops for Education enlisted three celebrities to get the word out about its “Don’t Be Absent from School” campaign.
“We realized that people who used to clip Box Tops in elementary school are now parents who have children of clipping age,” says Audra Carson, who leads the Box Tops for Education program at General Mills. “We also learned that kids are bonding with their parents over ’90s television shows, which they are now watching digitally on demand – and thought it would be wise to leverage celebrity spokespeople from some of those shows to help us out with our campaign.”
In a series of videos, TV veterans Alyson Hannigan, Dave Coulier and Mario Lopez play substitute school teachers in scenarios that describe a world without critical supplies funded by Box Tops.
“These stars in particular appeal to both parents and students. We’re hoping that by lending their voice to the Box Tops cause we’ll be able to enlist the next generation of Box Tops enthusiasts,” Audra says.
How will children learn to love reading if there are no books in the school library? How can they have music class without instruments? How can students express their desire to paint without paints? How can one operate a computer with missing components?
Bonus Box Tops app, Clip Board
For tech-savvy parents, the Box Tops program has added a twist to its clipping tradition.
“More and more parents are using apps on their smart phones to find incentives while shopping, be it digital coupons, rebates or alerts about sales. While traditional Box Tops on product packaging aren’t going away, we wanted to give schools even more opportunities to earn with exclusive bonus offers available only through the app,” says Audra.
The app features bonus Box Tops offers from participating brands and retailers. Users can select offers, purchase the products and scan their receipt to get electronic credit for their schools.
As a part of the celebration around its 20th anniversary, the brand is offering double Box Tops on select products during September and October exclusively through the app. Box Tops will be worth 20 cents rather than the traditional 10 cents per clip, doubling the impact for schools as students return to the classroom.
Another addition will be a crowdsourcing site known as Clip Board, which is expected to drive engagement between schools and parents. Instead of seeking money, schools can start a “collection drive” for Box Tops.
Through Clip Board, Box Tops coordinators can share online their school’s needs, allowing supporters to send in Box Tops.
Does the school need more playground equipment? Does a school hope to fund a field trip to a museum? Through Clip Board, the public can pledge their Box Tops to specific schools.
In the first month of its launch, more than 5,500 Clip Boards have been created with more than 150,000 pledges.
Since its September 1996 inception, Box Tops for Education has gained such a following that today more than 80,000 U.S. K-8 schools participate.
It is one of the larger private funders of U.S. education – $787 million and counting.
“School funding is more important now than ever before,” Audra says. “What I hope people realize is that there are millions of dollars in Box Tops sitting on store shelves right now and there is no easier way for people to help schools get what they need.”
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