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By Tony Connelly, Sports Marketing Reporter

March 15, 2016 | 3 min read

Honey Nut Cheerios has embarked on a very fitting cause marketing campaign with #BringBackTheBees which has removed the brand's bee mascot from its packaging for a limited time as part of a drive to raise awareness about the rapidly declining global bee population.

The campaign has launched in Canada and is aiming to raise awareness about the mysterious disappearing bee population which could have devastating consequences for humanity.

It is also attempting to plant 35 million wildflowers, one for every person in Canada, in a bid to regenerate the bee population which plays a crucial role in the world’s food production. The General Mills-owned brand is encouraging Canadian’s to take part in the project by giving away wildflower seeds on the Bring Back the Bees website where people can request free packs in the mail.

The dedicated website features an array of content, videos and infographics which explains just how vital bees are to humanity and how the campaign hopes to help save them.

Quebec-based creative agency Cossette developed the campaign which features an emotional video showing footage of humans’ intervening to save various forms of wildlife with a choir rendition of Mr.Mister’s ‘Broken Wings’ playing throughout.

Emma Eriksson, director of marketing for General Mills Canada told AdWeek that it was the first time in the brand’s history that it has taken Buzz off the box.

"One-third of the foods we depend on for our survival are made possible by the natural pollination work that bees provide,” said Eriksson.

She added: “With ongoing losses in bee populations being reported across Canada, we wanted to leverage our packaging to draw attention to this important cause and issue a call to action to Canadians to help plant 35 million wildflowers—one for every person in Canada."

Cossette chief creative officer, Peter Ignazi, praised General Mills’ commitment to purpose-based marketing which he said illustrated its willingness to “go beyond traditional statements such as product benefit in order to align with what's really important to consumers.”

Ignazi added: “By taking the bold step of removing a well-established brand symbol from its packaging, General Mills is further challenging marketing's conventional thinking to underscore its point."

The #BringBackTheBees campaign will run in Canada from March to July.

Bees General Mills Canada

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