By Alex J Davidson
Originally published on Advocate.com October 25 2013 8:00 AM ET
Betty Crocker’s video (watch below) for National Coming Out Day caught a lot of people unfamiliar with the brand’s diversity initiatives by surprise. The video, part of the Betty Crocker’s Families Project, features LGBT individuals and families talking about the importance of family in their lives.
We wanted to find out how and why Betty Crocker started its Families Project and how it has affected the brand, which is part of Minneapolis-based General Mills. We put five questions to Betty Crocker marketing manager Laura Forero.
The Advocate: What was the genesis of the video to support National Coming Out Day?
Laura Forero: The video is part of Betty Crocker’s ongoing Families Project. This is an initiative that recognizes the changing face of families in America and celebrates all homemakers that are part of these families. The Families Project kicked off early this year, highlighting several different family structures. During Pride season last summer, the brand created this video, featuring families in New York City and Minneapolis.
Did the project come from employees or management?
The Families Project is brand-led. We’ve been very proactive when reaching out to today’s modern families and we know today’s ever-evolving family and consumer landscape does not look like it did 50 years ago. We are excited to connect with today’s new homemaker and want our marketing to be inclusive to reflect who our consumers really are.
What previous examples of similar LGBT-friendly campaigns has Betty Crocker participated in?
As part of General Mills’ LGBT employee group, Betty’s Family, we’ve had a presence at Pride festivals for many years. This past summer, we took a more proactive role in engaging diverse families through brand sponsorship programs at Pride in Minneapolis and New York City, and hosted Minnesota’s first same-sex couples to marry on August 1 for a Betty Crocker cake tasting and provided free cakes for the weddings.
What results did you see from the campaign? Sometimes companies see spikes in sales.
We’ve seen a lot of great feedback from these executions, which tells us that we’re connecting positively with a more diverse consumer, and with that, generating more brand loyalty. It’s too early to track any specific sales data against this effort.
Are there future plans to continue such vocal support for LGBT families?
We are always looking at ways to connect with our audiences, so as we find the right opportunities to make a meaningful impact, we’ll pursue that, but there’s nothing specific we can share at this point.