2017 Winners

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Grand Prix

Gold Original Idea Reinvention Integration

General Mills Canada (Honey Nut Cheerios)

"Bring Back the Bees"


Honey Nut Cheerios (HNC) is the top performing cereal brand for General Mills. However, in an increasingly competitive environment, and a category primarily bought and sold on deal, the brand was at risk of losing significant ground. Its core consumer was aging and no appropriate strategy was in place to attract a younger consumer to carry the brand into the future. Honey Nut Cheerios needed a way to show millennials that it cares as much about the world as it does about selling cereal.

Through significant qualitative and quantitative work, the brand identified that it shares a common interest with millennials – devastating effects of a rapidly declining honey bee population, which is responsible for the pollination of 1/3 of fruits and vegetables.

For HNC, honey is in the brand’s name and is a key ingredient in its flagship product, not to mention Buzz, the beloved mascot, is the most recognizable honeybee in the world. Buzz holds the human qualities to energize people around a campaign to save the bees.

As iconic and loved as Buzz the Bee is, he needed to be removed to help people feel the impact of a declining bee population. Nowhere is Buzz more meaningful than on the Honey Nut Cheerios box on the store shelf. Removing Buzz from the box would draw attention to an important cause. But, it wasn’t enough just to raise the issue without a constructive solution.

The brand, along with its agency Cossette, invited consumers to “Bring Back the Bees” by registering online to have wildflower seeds sent to their house so they could plant a viable food source for the honeybees. The brand hit its goal of 35 million seeds in the first week – and later revised it to 110 million, which also disappeared fast. The team created an online video, which featured popular social media videos of humans saving various animals, and asking the viewer to help save the bees, too.

Baseline sales have increased 11.8%, with the original targeted goal of 1% to 2%. The brand exceeded its stated 35 million seeds in the first week and distributed a total of 115 million seeds to Canadians. The video has been viewed 10 million times online. There has also been significant news coverage of the program across the globe (including Time magazine and Fast Company).


Advertiser: General Mills Canada (Honey Nut Cheerios)

Director of Marketing: Emma Eriksson

VP Marketing General Mills: Dale Storey

Associate Marketing Director: Amanda Hsueh

Associate Market Manager: Kayla Rochkin

Agency: Cossette

CCOs: Peter Ignazi, Carlos Moreno

CDs: Sean Barlow, Ed Lea

ACD/AD: Yusong Zhang

ACD/Copywriter: Dhaval Bhatt

Interactive Designers: Derek Sharpe, Gustavo Oregel

Agency Producer: Sam Benson

Account Executives: Jennifer Self, Isabelle Morin

Account Directors: Jessica DeSantis, Paula Badran

VP, Client Leader: Wendy Morgado

SVP, National Business Leader: Janis Lindenbergs

Director, Strategy: Kevin McHugh

Chief Strategy Officer: Jason Chaney

Agency Production Manager: Aimee Churchill

Senior Retoucher: Trevor Gauthier

Production House: SammyB Productions

Producer: Sam Benson

Editing House: Soda

Executive Producer: Mina Jang

Editors: Nicole Lawr, Gerrit Van Dyke

Transfer & Online: The Vanity

Audio House: RMW Music

Music Search and License: Supergroup Sonic Branding Co

Music Supervisor: David Hayman

Track: Broken Wings as performed by Choir! Choir! Choir!

Box Packaging Design: Hunter Straker

Media Agency: Cossette Media

Group Director: Jenny Martin

General Manager: Jeff Berry

Media Planner: Natalie Griffith

Broadcast Investment Manager: Dianne Yu

VP, Media Buying Director: Diane Devries

PR Agency: Veritas

President: Krista Webster

Senior Director: Stella Mok

For Ticket Sales
Contact Joel Pinto at 416-408-2300 x650 or jpinto@brunico.com.