Lessons Learned from Nabisco’s Free The Animals Public Relations Campaign

Nabisco opened the cages and the media began to play.
In a move that attracted national media attention, Nabisco decided to change the packaging for Barnum’s Animal Cracker.

Several public relations lessons can be learned from Nabisco’s strategy.

Some background … The cookie company adjusted its graphics to eliminate the current look of caged animals on wheels. Now they will use a new packaging with the animals apparently in the wild and with no bars to speak of.
Nabisco’s parent company, Mondelez International, said they were succumbing to pressure from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).

According to news reports, PETA had been asking the company to change the packaging since 2016.

CBS News reported that PETA said in a letter to Mondelez: “Given the egregious cruelty inherent in circuses that use animals and growing public opposition to the exploitation of animals used for entertainment, we urge Nabisco to update its packaging to show animals that they are free to roam in their natural habitats. ”

At the same time, PETA was pressuring the cookie’s namesake, Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey to free their animals. The circus stopped using elephants as part of its show in 2016 and due to slowing ticket sales, it was withdrawn entirely in 2017.
Circus or not, the new cookie boxes have been redesigned to eliminate the implication of animals traveling in wagons for use in a show.

Whether or not a child, or even their parents, would connect the dots between caged animals, a traveling circus, and cruelty to animals just by looking at the package and consuming its contents is irrelevant on stage. In fact, it is a public relations work that actually has two winners.

First, PETA can take a victory lap. The organization and its 6.5 million members can be happy to have impacted the operations of another major international conglomerate and changed the face of an iconic brand.

However, the big winner is Nabisco and Mondelez. The company wins on many fronts.

One, he used his marketing bullets to attract a lot of national and international media attention.

Two, he waited for the main selling season like back to school, packing my lunch box to make his announcement. If nothing else, the news coverage should give the brand a boost this summer and fall.

Third, it creates the perception that the company is “up to date,” in tune with millennials and others who oppose anything closely related to animal cruelty.

Smaller B2B firms without an iconic 100+ year brand to turn to can still use many of Nabisco’s PR techniques.

May …
• Post any big news at a time of year that is most likely to get the most media coverage.

• Formulate your news at a time that will have a high impact with your consumers or your customers and prospects.

• Redesign or reorganize product packaging, offerings, and website to show you’re in tune with today’s market.
• Create events with priority social causes to demonstrate your modern relevance to buyers of your products.

Nabisco’s Animal Cookie Campaign offers some good PR ideas to ponder, plus some great tasting ones.

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *