Honey Bunches of Oats: 360 Marketing Campaign

March 16, 2017

Post Consumer Brands formed in 2015 when Post Foods and MOM Brands merged. Today, the company provides a spectrum of low-cost and healthy breakfast products. Honey Bunches of Oats, one of Post’s most popular cereals, shared insights on how it engaged with millennial consumers and embraced pop culture in an integrated marketing campaign.

Honey Bunches of Oats was created in 1989 when a Post employee blended granola bunches, crunchy flakes, and honey. Like most of Post’s products, Honey Bunches of Oats is one of the leading brands in the ready-to-eat breakfast cereal category. Despite its successes, Post recognized that there was still a lot of growth potential for the Honey Bunches of Oats brand. It found three demographic trends positively influencing cereal:

  1. Increased American Hispanic population: One in six Americans is Hispanic, and their share of wealth and spending power is on the rise.
  2. Millennials are the generation to watch: Millennials comprise the largest U.S. generation, and many of them are beginning to settle down and start families.
  3. Large households are on the rise: More than 19 percent of the U.S. population lives in multi-generational households. Nearly 13.3 percent of these families have five or more members.

Case Study: “This. Is. Everything.” Campaign

Leveraging insights from the demographic trends, Honey Bunches of Oats launched its “This. Is. Everything.” campaign. Previously, its campaigns focused on the people in its plants and how they made the cereal, but the brand wanted to shift attention to millennials in particular. It created a full-circle campaign that targeted millennial consumers in all the aspects of their lives.

Honey Bunches of Oats ran a sweepstakes on its digital and social platforms, inviting consumers to insert themselves into awkward family photos for the chance to win prizes. The brand tested three different advertising spots on Snapchat to see how consumers were engaging with its cereal. It worked with social influencers to promote the Honey Bunches of Oats brand at sponsored events like the #WeAllGrow Summit, the Family Forward Retreat, and the People en Español Festival. In addition, it created mobile pop-ups at festivals and tours, allowing customers to try its product and engage with the brand in a more personal way.

Honey Bunches of Oats partnered with the CW to integrate its product into the launch of the new season of the television show Jane the Virgin. It sought to reach millennial consumers, regardless of how they were watching the show. The brand sponsored behind-the-scenes clips on CW.com featuring one of the stars of the show to generate hype for the new season. The Honey Bunches of Oats logo appeared on the bottom right-hand side of the screen as the show was airing — both during live TV and on the CW website. A full Spanish version of a Honey Bunches of Oats commercial aired during the premiere. The brand was also integrated in a playful storyline with one of the main characters.

Honey Bunches of Oats saw increased engagement across all of its platforms:

  • The awkward family photo sweepstakes generated 27 million impressions, and an accompanying video had more than three million views.
  • Advertising spots on Snapchat garnered more than four million impressions.
  • The sponsored events resulted in nearly 700 social media posts and more than 1,100 videos.
  • The mobile pop-ups produced 747,000 impressions and 26,000 photo ops.
  • The Jane the Virgin integration generated 14 million television impressions and 2.4 million social impressions.

Q&A with Julie Hewitt, Honey Bunches of Oats Integrated Marketing Communications Manager at Post Consumer Brands

Q. How did Honey Bunches of Oats decide to advertise on Jane the Virgin?

A. The CW was already a great partner to Post. We chose Jane the Virgin because the show has a large millennial and Hispanic viewing audience and we wanted to target those consumers.

Q. Why did Honey Bunches of Oats choose to target consumers on Snapchat?

A. We know that Snapchat is popular with millennials. We thought that they would not be expecting to get advertised to on Snapchat, and that given a long enough time, they would be likely to watch the full ad.


"Honey Bunches of Oats: 360 Marketing Campaign." Julie Hewitt, Honey Bunches of Oats Integrated Marketing Communications Manager at Post Consumer Brands. 2017 ANA Marketing to Millennials Conference, 3/16/17.

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