2016 Winners

SILVER: Evolution Strategy: Keeping it Fresh

Honey Nut Cheerios

Bring Back the Bees


Honey Nut Cheerios is a top performing cereal brand for General Mills. However, in an increasingly competitive environment and changing consumer attitudes towards cereal in general, the brand was at risk of losing significant ground.

To reach millennials, the brand needed to find a way to show that it cares as much about the collective world as it does about selling cereal. The rapidly declining honey bee population, which is responsible for the pollination of one third of fruits and vegetables, became the cause in which the brand decided to position itself around.

As iconic as Honey Nut Cheerios' "Buzz the Bee" is, the brand decided he needed to disappear to make people feel the impact of a declining bee population. So Cossette removed Buzz from the cereal box, drawing attention to an important cause as well as to the Cheerios brand.

However, it wasn't enough to raise the issue without providing a constructive solution. So the brand invited consumers to #BringBackTheBees by registering online to have a wildflower seed pack (which also included a coupon for the cereal and a lawn sign) sent to their house. They could then plant the seeds to provide a food source for the honeybees.

To drive awareness, the agency created an online video, which featured popular clips of people saving animals, and asking the viewers to start thinking about saving the bees. The video launched at garden show Canada Blooms, and though not in the original plans, it also aired on TV based on the online success.

Several children created videos discussing the campaign while sometimes eating cereal. Adults also posted pictures of their cereal boxes, seed packs and flower gardens on Instagram.

Baseline sales increased 11.8% and the brand exceeded the initial goal of 35 million seeds in the first week, distributing a total of 115 million seeds. And the video garnered 10 million views online.


Advertising agency: Cossette

Chief strategy officer: Jason Chaney

Director of strategy: Kevin McHugh

CCOs: Peter Ignazi, Carlos Moreno

CDs: Ed Lea, Sean Barlow

ACD/AD: Yusong Zhang

ACD/CW: Dhaval Bhatt

Account executives: Jennifer Self, Isabelle Morin

Account directors: Jessica DeSantis, Paula Badran

VP, client leader: Wendy Morgado

SVP, national business leader: Janis Lindenbergs

Director of marketing: Emma Eriksson

VP marketing General Mills: Dale Storey

Associate marketing director: Amanda Hsueh

Associate market manager: Kayla Rochkin

For submission inquiries, please contact Clare O'Brien at cobrien@brunico.com.
For partnership inquiries, please contact Neil Ewen at newen@brunico.com.