"Back-to-school is a critical time period for mom and it's actually a bit of a stressor. What we want to do is really step in and make it easy for mom to prepare for back-to-school," said Tim Zimmer, VP of marketing for Sara Lee Fresh Bakery. "Broadening back-to-school, we want to build a long-term relationship with moms."
Sara Lee has focused on back-to-school outreach and whole grain education in the past, but with a focus on outreach to teenagers and 'tweens, said Heather Collins, director of marketing for Sara Lee Fresh Bakery. Last year's back-to-school program featured High School Musical star Corbin Bleu. But this year, the company wanted to target moms and worked with mom bloggers for a majority of the outreach.
This year, Sara Lee "brought in 13 of who we consider the most influential mom bloggers in the US for a nutrition summit," on July 23, she said. The event allowed mothers to interact with registered dietician Connie Diekman, learn about whole grain products and labeling, and even compete to create the most nutritious lunch. The campaign is also promoting "Bring Your Whole Grain Sandwich to School Day" on September 3.
The traditional media outreach plan includes targeting moms, reaching out to nutrition and lifestyle reporters, and kids, through a partnership with Disney. This year, Sara Lee will partner with the Disney's Wizards of Waverly Place throughout the late summer and fall.
Online, Sara Lee's Web site includes a revamped Whole Grain-o-Meter, which measures whole grain content of the 100 top-selling breads. Soft & Smooth is also on Facebook and Sara Lee is monitoring how moms and other influencers discuss the brand on Twitter.