Pink for the Cure
Bolstering the battle against breast cancer, General Mills launched this
campaign to spread hopeful stories of those touched by the disease. An
elaborate MySpace page was created and partnerships were formed with
celebrities and a network of breast cancer survivors and activists.
Visitors could share their stories, comment and download badges and
backgrounds for their own pages. The campaign reached more than 2.7
million people, gained thousands of MySpace friends and received great
feedback from participants.
Client/company: General Mills
Brand campaign was conducted for: Pink for the Cure
Launch date of campaign: Oct. 3, 2007
Target audience/demographic: Women ages 25 to 50 who have been touched by breast cancer
Build an online campaign during Breast Cancer Awareness Month that shared
simple stories of hope - as opposed to ways to learn more, make a donation
or join a walk. Position General Mills as the marketer most committed to
beating the disease - not just another trendy "pink marketer" with a
message that could get lost in a sea of sameness. Committing to a
year-round, long-term social networking movement designed to deliver
optimism, encouragement and comfort to those affected by breast cancer.
Through initial research to measure "pink" motivators and the virality of
the topic "breast cancer" online, General Mills and OLSON developed the
Pink for the Cure campaign based on the following strategies:
The campaign was developed as a combination of public relations (both online and offline) and as a partnership with the MySpace community. Key outreach tools included:
- Go to where the people are - partner with a proven social-networking organization
- Walk the walk - engage celebrity spokespeople who have personal connections to the disease, partner with Susan G. Komen for the Cure and feature genuine stories
- Empower the impassioned - enable consumers to become evangelists of the program by giving them an opportunity to give and receive hope via online story sharing, comments and site participation
To ensure the site delivered on its goal of sharing hope, the following
metrics were tracked: number of site visitors, stories shared and time
spent on the site. In addition, recognition by the online breast cancer
community and influencers was the key to measuring success and establishing
the community for future growth.
- Brand community site on MySpace - pinktogether.com.
- The site used an engaging mosaic ribbon to showcase every story and allowed users to view and search stories in multiple ways to receive the hope they needed in the battle against breast cancer.
- Partner with Ellen DeGeneres and former 'American Idol' finalist Kimberley Locke; both have a personal connection to the disease.
- Outreach to influential social media sites to announce the launch of the Pink for the Cure program and encourage these impassioned online community members to spread the hope.
Before the launch date, General Mills and OLSON identified the most influential online
social networkers dedicated to the cause and tapped their communities to effectively
rally tens of thousands of supporters.The campaign began with some of the most
passionate breast cancer advocates: chapter members of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Members were encouraged to log on before the launch and share their stories for the
opportunity to earn additional donations for their chapter.
At the launch, a one-day MySpace homepage takeover announced Pink Together.
It engaged members at every point of their experience and started the viral
buzz. From this launch, the organic nature of the partnerships allowed
members to virally find out about the new community via profile friend
badges, downloadable badges for use on other social sites and downloadable
From online outreach and buzz, the campaign secured more than 185 million
earned media impressions (without using a multiplier) and more than 50
social media hits - beyond the thousands within the MySpace community -
reaching more than 2.7 million people. Guests also recognized General Mills
for their support:
Specific (Goal-Related) Campaign Results:
- "There is a lot going on to bring awareness of breast cancer to full throttle this month and, so far, none have touched me as much as PinkTogether.com." - Fit Sugar
- "PinkTogether encourages its visitors to share their stories and struggles in hopes that they will provide inspiration for others. I don't know about you, but I will be eating more than my fair share of Cheerios this month."- Health Intelligence Networ
- "So, to help you out here is another way for you to raise money without doing anything out of the ordinary: EATING! While you are at the grocery this month, check out these items that you probably buy anyway … General Mills: Cheerios Cereal, Nature Valley Granola Bars, Progresso Soup. General Mills has also agreed to donate $2 million to Susan G. Komen for the Cure." - The Blog Around The Corner
While no numbers can measure the emotional outpourings and engagement
pinktogether.com experienced in its first year, after launch the
community virally exploded. Stories shared and profile "friends"
climbed by the hour, ultimately proving some impressive results:
While site activity was concentrated in October, the Pink for the Cure
campaign established a passionate, engaged community on pinktogether.com
year-round. And General Mills is committed to broadening its reach and
engagement in year two.
- In October alone, there were more than 224,827 unique site visits (232,779 total visits).
- Those who visited spent more than 10,863 hours on the site (more than 350 hours daily) with an average visit of 3 minutes.
- Visitors wanted to share hope, with 1,420 stories submitted, including Ellen DeGeneres, Betty DeGeneres (her mother) and singer Kimberley Locke.
- Shared stories were read more than 41,100 times in October.
- In addition, 7,454 friends joined pinktogether.com in October, and more than 650 friend comments were posted.
Even virally-driven campaigns need jumpstarts. You can't just launch
something and hope that it takes off. The partnership with MySpace
provided the "Big Bang" that was needed, at which point people - the
most powerful medium of all - took over.