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social media

After Cheerios Ad, General Mills Looks to Get Better Handle on Brands Across Social

Posted by Dale Buss on June 26, 2013 01:43 PM

Not settling for the social media stake in the ground comprised by its Cheerios ad featuring a mixed-race family, General Mills now is boosting social media and branded content efforts across 37 of its major brands.

The company just announced that it has implemented a newly upgraded system by tech vendor Spredfast to manage content publishing and consumer engagement across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social platforms for brands including not only Cheerios but also Pillsbury and Betty Crocker.

The move is described as the second of two major steps that the processed-grain giant has been taking to establish itself as a significant player in social media.Continue reading...


Little Debbie Gets Subtle Makeover to Keep Snack Brand Fresh

Posted by Dale Buss on May 14, 2013 04:47 PM

Joining a long roster of freshened iconic-female CPG logos that includes Betty Crocker, Aunt Jemima and Wendy of fast-food fame, Little Debbie is getting a modern makeover. The face of the snack-cake brand is being tweaked by owner McKee Foods for just the third time since the iconic logo was introduced in 1960.

The difference between Little Debbie and the other three females is that she's the only real person who is still working in a key role with the company whose eponymous logo she inspired. Debbie McKee-Fowler is still an executive vice president of McKee, a family-owned, Collegedale, Tenn.-based company that was founded by her grandfather, O.D. McKee. Grandpa was inspired by the angelic visage of his three-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter to make her the fresh and appealing face of his new food enterprise.Continue reading...

retail watch

Target's New Campaign a Tongue in Chic Lesson in How to Market Groceries

Posted by Dale Buss on January 7, 2013 04:11 PM

Leveraging its design chops in a whole new way, Target is launching a new multi-faceted marketing campaign behind its CPG products with a decidedly unique twist.

"The Everyday Collection" by Target isn't its latest limited edition designer collaboration. It's a minimalist campaign touting — wait for it — groceries, from cake mixes to laundry detergent, prenatal vitamins to cuts of steak. It's also applying its acknowledged sensibilities in fashion and design to promoting the, let's face it, more mundane SKUs in its inventory on behalf of its brand affiliates: consumer packaged goods.Continue reading...

branding together

Is Men's Health Nuts to Team with Planters?

Posted by Dale Buss on April 17, 2012 04:08 PM

Ever heard of Beer Nuts? The brand of bar peanuts, redolent as it is of junk foods and calorie-laden alcoholic concoctions, is typical of male consumption of nuts.

But now Kraft has another approach in mind. Leveraging the increasingly understood association between nuts and health in a new way, the Planters brand has signed a deal to co-brand a nutritious nut mix with Men's Health magazine, as we noted here yesterday.

Planters Nut-rition Men's Health Recommended Mix has rolled out with an advertising campaign on the back cover of the May issue of the magazine and a TV spot (watch it below) that's now running on ESPN and other US cable networks.Continue reading...

digital marketing

Cereal Thriller: General Mills Opens Box of Digital Trix

Posted by Shirley Brady on February 1, 2012 12:23 PM

Are cereal boxes "platforms for content"? So argues Mark Addicks, the chief marketing officer for General Mills, who walks USA Today's Jefferson Graham through the addition of QR codes and augmented reality to the company's cereal brands. Betty Crocker, by the way, is another digital/social platform for the company. "There's never been a time like this," observes Addicks, a 23-year veteran of the company. "Because of the digital technology that resides in people's hands … we can now deliver content that engages and enhances the experience. Before, we had to rely on a 30-second TV ad."Continue reading...

brand mascots

The Original Lady in Red, Betty Crocker, Goes Digital on her 90th Birthday

Posted by Dale Buss on November 21, 2011 11:01 AM

Yes, she's had a few cosmetic makeovers through the decades, to make sure she doesn't look school-marmish or like June Cleaver on the cake-mix boxes. But now that she's just turned 90 years old, Betty Crocker is undergoing one of the biggest changes ever: She's going digital. And that may be the best way for General Mills' baking-brand spokeswoman (a persona created in 1921 to answer home bakers' questions) to make it comfortably into the next century.

Betty's birthday celebration has been at the center of a new campaign by the brand that has included new cupcake recipes (Red Velvet Triple Stack and Ooey Gooey Pumpkin Caramel varieties sound particularly enticing), a promotional trip to the birthday "bash" at Betty Crocker Kitchens in Minneapolis attended by a 24-year-old Arizonan who won a contest, and a new version of the iconic Betty Crocker "Big Red" cookbook. Betty was already on Twitter and Facebook, but now she's got a new online destination that includes 1,500 recipes, 1,100 all-new photographs, an expanded store, and access to 85 videos and 400 additional recipes.Continue reading...

chew on this

Duncan Hines Lets Them Eat Cake. Decadent, Sophisticated Cake.

Posted by Barry Silverstein on May 13, 2011 01:30 PM

Consider Duncan Hines the Avis of cake mixes. The brand is a perennial second to General Mills' Betty Crocker, with 30.9% market share vs. 38.1% market share in the most recent data reported by research firm Symphony IRI Group.

But Duncan Hines keeps trying harder, as its recent foray into social marketing suggests. Actually, the brand may have tried a little too hard — it actually came under fire late last year for depicting animated cupcakes in a hip-hop fashion that some felt smacked of racism.

Despite the controversy, Duncan Hines keeps on trucking. Next stop: a new campaign that also departs from the traditional mom-and-kids baking scenario.Continue reading...

follow the money

General Mills Builds Brand Extensions Via Technology And Television

Posted by Sara Zucker on December 22, 2009 02:36 PM

General Mills, the brand associated with Wheaties and Cheerios, is focusing on digital media and cross-cultural marketing projects in an attempt to increase sales amid the recession.

Recent initiatives include Tablespoon.com, a site that combines content from a variety of food-centric blogs, and a line of applications for Windows 7 and the iPhone created to bolster the Betty Crocker brand. General Mills has also designed a "Virtual Store," which recreates the shopping experience and allows customers to provide feedback to actual retailers through a "Shopper 360" survey.Continue reading...

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