Last week, Golden Grahams kicked off the Golden Grahams Golden Grant Stimulus Package, a social media effort targeting an audience slightly older than the one it’s more traditionally known for. The campaign, based around fueling job searches in 2010, encourages people to share their funniest job experience in 120 characters or less via www.goldengrant.com. The best submissions are then animated into a short video for others to view. I had the chance to talk about the campaign with Greg Zimprich, Director of Brand Public Relations for General Mills and Antoinette Coleman, Marketing Manager for Golden Grahams.
This is the first social media effort of its kind for Golden Grahams – what sparked the idea?
Antoinette Coleman: While this might be the first foray for Golden Grahams, General Mills has been an active participant in social media for a number of years. Our Brand PR department has developed best-in-class outreach to consumers and influencers through social media channels. It’s really about helping our brands be more social and connecting with our consumers over time. In this case, animating tweets is a unique idea, and we thought it also was a creative way of engaging some of the cereal’s existing online fan base.
Your brand is generally perceived as a product primarily consumed by children. Does this campaign’s connection with job search represent a shift?
Antoinette: Golden Grahams is a brand loved by many – including both children as well as adults. We wanted to take this opportunity play up the fact that it’s been the breakfast (and late night snack) of choice for cereal lovers across a variety of age groups.
Why did you decide to focus the campaign around job search?
Antoinette: For a lot of people, 2009 was a tough year, as evidenced by the job market, and we know that a lot of young people are struggling to secure employment. Golden Grahams is optimistic about 2010 and wants to help fuel those job searches with humor – and a little sustenance. We wanted to encourage people to share their stories with others who can relate, as well as see the lighter side.
Our readers are always interested in learning what goals are targeted as part of a new social media campaign. Could you detail what you are trying to get out of the Golden Grant campaign? What metrics will you be paying closest attention to?
Greg Zimprich: We want this campaign to be fun for consumers, and being able to see and hear their stories is key for us. In general, as we address social media outreach, we’re focused on providing a remarkable brand experience. We want to invite participation, inspire the participants, and include them in our activities. We want to build more direct relationships with consumers and drive deeper engagement. We can measure that through participation and virality, as well as things like site traffic, impressions, and others.
If the funniest entries are selected and animated-my guess is there’s something else behind the 120 character limit. If the lifeblood of social media is viral pass-alongs — are users going to be able to share their cringe-worthy experiences upon submission?
Antoinette: Absolutely – anybody can submit their experience via the Web site at www.GoldenGrant.com, but also broadcast that story to their friends through their Twitter and Facebook pages. We’ll have an active presence on both of these platforms, as well as a dedicated YouTube channel. All content will be accessible through the Golden Grant Web site, so people can view animations and check back to see if their experience made the cut. We want to make this as interactive as possible — and are very excited to see the early response.
Seeing as Pepsi has pulled out of Super Bowl advertising and refocused on social media, the question has to be asked. Is Golden Grahams and General Mills taking a similar path?
Greg Zimprich: We try to engage our consumers with relevant messages delivered across a variety of channels, including through both traditional channels and increasingly through social channels. We’ve seen strong results in our efforts to directly engage consumers and influencers to build advocacy for our brands. Social media is an effective way to extend and amplify our brand messages. Through social branding — engaging consumers with an affinity toward our brands — initiatives like the Golden Grant Stimulus Package demonstrate how a brand can really bring that vision to life.