Graham cracker company Honey Maid is over 85 years old. What does an old brand do to reinvent itself? It brings in the kids. The business has begun a program called Made.Co, which holds a series of competitions to empower children to innovate.
The initiative, developed by creative agency Droga5, allows young creative minds to bring their ideas to the fore, and see them realized with the help of experts. It was launched in conjunction with the new product, Honey Maid Grahamfuls. Two commercials for the stuffed graham cracker cookies were created by children under the age of 14.
But advertising for Honey Maid is not the only prize to be won nor is it the aim of the program. Currently, there are two competitions running for 6-12 year olds: a story book challenge and a comic strip challenge in collaboration with HarperCollins and Disney respectively. Winners of the storybook competition will be able to see their book be printed (with a 10 copy run) with help of children’s author, Dan Gutman, while the comic strip winner will spend a day at Disney’s studio, getting an animation lesson.
Each competition is about letting kids know that creativity is cool, and encouraging them to make things. Says Droga5 chief strategy officer Jonny Bauer:
Honey Maid wanted to make it a credible aspiration for kids to make new stuff. That became the cultural cornerstone for what the brand is about. It’s not just something they say. They put their money where their mouth is and created this fantastic program to get kids making stuff.
With TV, the internet and video games taking up much of today’s children’s time, Honey Maid felt that kids were not being encouraged enough creatively. Says the site:
Made Co. grew out of an observation that kids today seem to spend more time consuming content than making it, and the hope with Made Co. is to help shift this balance.
There will be 20 or so projects staggered throughout the year, with different corporations collaborating, all in the name of bringing a child’s imagination to life.