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Brief Published: 18 Apr 2016

Cheerios’ ‘BringBackTheBees’ Campaign

Cheerios' Bring Back The Bees

General Mills’ cereal brand Honey Nut Cheerios is raising awareness about the declining global bee population in its latest campaign. To illustrate the point, the brand’s mascot, Buzz the Bee, has been conspicuously cut out from the cereal boxes, alongside a call to action and a link to the BringBackTheBees microsite.

The site explains why the survival of bees is so important – if they become extinct, plants won’t be pollinated and food production will suffer. It also promotes a garden makeover competition in a bid to encourage more bees into these habitats – the loss of green spaces is a major contributing factor to their decline. Visitors to the site are being offered free wildflower seeds to plant in their gardens and window boxes, with more than 100 million given away so far. The brand’s Canadian arm partnered with marketers Cossette on the campaign, which also features a TV spot and a shareable online video.

The brand previously highlighted the importance of these insects in November 2015 by creating a living billboard that generated real honey. Made up of 10 hives filled with more than 100,000 bees, the living billboard was situated on a farm just outside Orlando, Florida.

For more on brands highlighting the plight of declining bee populations – and the massive impact this will have on wider food production – see Whole Foods’ Produce Without Pollinators campaign, covered in Feeding Tomorrow’s Consumers.

As demonstrated in our Doing Good report, corporate social responsibility has become a basic consumer expectation. However, for mainstream companies, eco campaigns can seem a daunting prospect. See Marketing Sustainability for detailed analysis and best-practice case studies.

Beyond marketing, product packaging can be used to demonstrate a brand’s commitment to protecting the environment. See the Sustainability report in our Packaging Futures Industry Trend for more on the increasing demand for innovative and sustainable solutions.