In its inaugural year, The Great American Bake Sale will be sponsored by Walt Disney Co.'s ABC. The network will feature the effort on the April 29 episode of "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter," and will run PSAs and special appearances by the sitcom's cast members touting the Bake Sale. Other partners include Tyson Foods, General Mills' Betty Crocker Desserts and Reynolds Consumer Products, all three of which are first-time partners with the weekly, according to Parade President-Publisher Jack Griffin. Each has committed to "an advertising component related to the program throughout the year."
The Bake Sale will entreat Americans to register at greatamericanbakesale.org and to host bake sales that raise funds for Share Our Strength.
Tyson, which has never before advertised in Parade, plans to run a full-page ad in the April 27 issue, which will feature a cover story on childhood hunger, as well as a smaller ad later in the year, said Ed Nicholson, Tyson's director-media relations. Tyson will drop a newspaper insert May 18 offering $1 off some of its frozen-chicken products and will donate 1 pound of chicken, beef or pork for every sale of particular products during the promotional period, April 27 through July 22. The Bake Sale logo will also be carried on package and on in-pack coupons.
Although Tyson has donated nearly 12 million pounds of food through a 4-year-old partnership with Share Our Strength, the Bake Sale is the meat marketer's first cause-related marketing effort.
Betty Crocker Desserts' marketing director Katy Dickson said General Mills hopes its tie-in to the Bake Sale will help "develop a deeper emotional connection with our Betty Crocker consumers" as well as drive partnerships with retailers, many of which support hunger-related causes. Betty Crocker will drop a newspaper coupon insert announcing its donation of 50¢ to Share Our Strength for every coupon redeemed up to $750,000. Ms. Dickson would not comment on its ad commitment to Parade, with which the company has been advertising for years.
Mr. Griffin said Parade, which reaches 79 million homes through circulation in Sunday newspapers, is already in talks with at least half a dozen companies interested in participating in the event-and committing ad dollars to the publication-for next year. Gannett Co.'s USA Today has successfully built its "Make a Difference Day" program into an annual cause-related event, which has likely served as a model for Parade and other publications' efforts.