MINNEAPOLIS—General Mills has selected Omnicom’s cause related marketing specialist firm Cone to provide support to two of its signature programs, Box Tops for Education, a school fund-raising program, and Yoplait’s Save Lids to Save Lives, which raises funds for breast cancer.
“We chose Cone as our partner with Box Tops for Education and Save Lids to Save Lives because of its deep expertise in cause branding and marketing public relations,” says Kim Olson, who joined General Mills as director of public relations from Weber Shandwick Worldwide earlier this year.
Box Tops for Education, which helps raise funds for primary schools, involves several General Mills products including all the company’s cereals and its Betty Crocker products. It is entering its sixth year this fall and has reached $50 million in giving to America’s schools. Cone will work with General Mills to create awareness of this significant milestone.
Cone will also provide public relations and marketing support for General Mills’ Save Lids to Save Lives promotion. Now in its third year, the program has encouraged consumers to send in the special pink lids found on Yoplait containers to help in the fight against breast cancer. For every lid received, Yoplait donates ten cents to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, up to a maximum donation of $500,000.
This year, Yoplait has increased its sponsorship of Race for the Cure, replacing J.C. Penney as the National Series Presenting Sponsor.
“These two programs are ongoing campaigns that have donated more than $3 million and $50 million respectively to the causes of breast cancer and K-8 education,” says agency president Carol Cone. “Both initiatives were created to deepen the relationship between General Mills’ products and its consumers via the support of important relevant issues. 
“The programs embrace many cause-related marketing best practices including alignment with an issue that is pertinent to target audiences, a sincere and long-term commitment, participation with non-profit partners, adding innovative elements as the programs evolve, branded campaigns and active reporting of sums raised.”