FMCG case study: How a cheese spread became part of a school curriculum

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Back in 2012, Bel Group's popular cheese spread Picon wanted to revamp its brand promise of 'spreading happiness' across Lebanon. This case study looks at how the FMCG brand’s civic activism programme became part of the country’s school curriculum via some smart digital content marketing.

Noting that Lebanese schools were falling behind in civic education and needed support, Bel Group, via Leo Burnett in Beirut, sought to improve civic education and spread happiness to the people of Lebanon.

The brand saw a need in Lebanese schooling and addressed it with an effective and engaging initiative. Picon aimed to place itself at the forefront of conversations about good works in society. And kids who are proud to affix another badge to their Picon sash would be more inclined to eat a sandwich spread with Picon at lunchtime.

The Happiness Heroes are born

Working with NGO arcenciel.aec, Picon developed 'Happiness Heroes', a programme that taught civic education to school children and allowed them to apply those lessons outside of the classroom through civic works projects.

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It focused on four areas of civic activism: environmental protection, solidarity, health education, and school restoration. Each area of civic activism was also represented by a Lebanese hero, who represented the programme as an ambassador and spoke about the effort to the media.

$1.8 million in earned media… and a place on the curriculum

The campaign reached 6,700 students. Together, those students collected two and a half tons of bottle caps, recycled two tons of paper, and planted 1,250 trees. The students also helped 158 families in need, entertained 2,000 seniors, renovated 15 public schools, and helped 550 people with special needs participate in sports events.

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Picon estimates that the company garnered $1.8 million in earned media and reached 2.5 million people. In 2012, Lebanon's Ministry of Education announced that the Happiness Heroes programme would be integrated nationwide.

Using superheroes to promote doing good things for the benefit of society, the brand as placed itself at the forefront of conversations about civic actions. The campaign neatly united digital rewards with real world badges that kids could wear with pride- and perhaps be more inclined to eat a cheese spread sandwich at lunchtime.

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