The brand Wonder Bread ran a cause marketing promotion that encouraged people to nominate exceptional teachers under the “7Wonders of the USA Teacher Tour” promotion. During the four-month program, which ran from July to October, more than 3,000 nominations came in, a 230% jump over the previous version of the promotion.
In January, seven teachers will learn they have won. His or her respective school will receive 25 tablet computers and the teachers themselves will travel to one of what the brand marketers deemed “America’s 7 Wonders” to film a lesson on location.
Here, Tameika G. Miller, the brand manager of premium breads for Wonder and Merita, shares her thoughts on the contest.
PROMO: Why did you choose to run a cause-marketing program?
MILLER: The tour was a huge undertaking, but it was a labor of love for all of us. We, like all Americans, care about our next generation and this 7Wonders campaign tapped into our hearts and our consumers hearts. We wanted to support a cause that resonated with our consumers and we wanted to do it in a way that honored Wonder and honored our heritage of impacting local communities. By giving teachers a chance to visit one of the 7Wonders of the USA to teach a class remotely, and awarding 25 tablet computers for their schools, we are not only supporting the next generation, we are encouraging teachers to inspire and engage their students with a unique learning experience, beyond traditional everyday teaching methods.
PROMO: How is this year's program different and how did you increase the results so dramatically?
MILLER: We are very pleased with the increase over our last program. The tour was part of a larger campaign, “Wonder Honors America’s Everyday Heroes,” a national search for ordinary people making extraordinary contributions to their families, communities or country. In our last “Wonder Heroes” promotion, which ran January 2011 through July 2011, we invited American families to nominate inspirational moms, dads and patriots. It was our first promotion of this kind and consumers were very receptive to the idea of honoring local everyday heroes, people they knew, neighbors in their own local communities. 7Wonders expanded on this effort by allowing us to honor one of our country’s most respected professions, teachers, and to do something special for teachers and their schools. I think people were moved and genuinely motivated to impact teachers and schools. Our increased marketing efforts aside, people value the opportunity to give back in a meaningful way to a cause that will directly impact the next generation.
PROMO: How did you market this year’s promotion?
MILLER: The tour was marketed across all spectrums of media, in-store, in newspapers, radio, and online on Facebook, Twitter, and on our brand website. Of course, one of the most prominent places was in-store.
PROMO: How did you execute in stores?
MILLER: The campaign was featured on our Wonder back-to-school selling season, which is one of our busiest seasons in the year. While moms shopped for school lunch options for their kids, it was the perfect time and place to grab their attention. We also informed consumers and the teacher/ education community through a widespread public relations campaign. This helped word of mouth, which really worked in our favor. We could not have predicted the positive impact of this program on local communities and school districts and even our own employees, they all voluntarily became brand ambassadors, sharing our flyers in their local schools and virally online.
PROMO: How does this promotion fit into Wonder Bread's overall marketing plan?
MILLER: It’s all about inspiration. Wonder was born out of inspiration 90 years ago, when marketer Elmer Cline was awe-struck by a scene of hot air balloons floating across the sky. He was struck with inspiration and wonder and that’s actually how Wonder got its name. In celebration of our 90th anniversary, we wanted to honor our heritage with a program that would inspire others. It is fitting that we celebrate by encouraging inspiring acts and will continue to do so with our upcoming program, “Share the Wonder,”where we will ask consumers to share what inspires them in their local communities.