When you hear the phrase “Made with real honey,” what do you think of? I always, without fail, think of Honey Nut Cheerios. This may be the cause of childhood brainwashing from endless commercials spotlighting the lightly sweet but nutritious cereal. When I was five years old there was a lot less competition in the cereal industry. There were the Cheerio brands, the Lucky Charms, the Fruit Loops and a few others, but NONE were competing to be the healthiest or made with “real” ingredients. They were simply grappling to be the most attractive to their target consumer – us kids.
Things have changed. With the insurgence of vegan lifestyle bloggers, supermarkets like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s and the mentality among moms that “Hey! Sugar isn’t good for kids,” brands are competing to be both kid friendly and more importantly mom friendly. So how is this accomplished? According to Saatchi & Saatchi NY, touting the ingredients wasn’t enough. We, the consumer, had to be shown…and it is brilliant.
With a little help, Honey Nut Cheerios embarked on a journey to literally spell out that it’s “made with real honey” with a noteworthy campaign that turned a billboard into a beehive for about 100,000 honeybees. After the three-story design was built, it became home to bees provided by Florida beekeeper, Brent Dickson, who describes the project as a first for both him and the bees in the commercial documentation of the event. Firsts aside, the bees co-operated, producing enough honey to eventually spell out “Made with Real Honey” on the exterior of the installation. According to video spot, the local honey was also used to produce a limited number of exclusive boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios for the people of St Cloud.
This type of activation proves just how inspirational and impactful physical extensions of a marketing campaign can be. Engaging with the local community of St Cloud, a giant company like Cheerios was able to tap into what consumers care about and spark a genuine conversation around a topic that is on almost all parents’ minds.