Cheerios and Canadian Olympic athlete partners are shifting the cheers originally destined for the athletes onto Canada's frontline food bank workers to help raise awareness and donations, and to say "thanks" to them.
Food Banks Canada will also receive a $500,000 cash donation from Cheerios and $600,000 worth of food product from parent company General Mills.
“We are pivoting our original plan from helping Canadians to cheer on our Olympic athletes, to those same Olympic athletes cheering on Canadians who are pushing themselves to help their communities in this time of tremendous need,” says Fawad Farrukh, business unit director of cereal at General Mills Canada.
“These are the real heroes, and we’re proud to be able to help them out by raising awareness through our new ads, and by celebrating their spirit with our athlete partners.”
Under the Cheer the Food Banks Frontline initiative, Cheerios will repurpose its planned Olympic broadcast ad time to focus on the inspiring employees and volunteers who are keeping Canada’s food banks in operation, right when they’re needed the most. An animated spot which personifies the spirit of these hard-working helpers (and based on a real-life volunteer’s own story) begins airing the week of May 4th.
At the same time, a social media series of five videos starring Team Canada Olympic athletes will shift the spotlight to specific representative food bank workers as the true heroes of this time. Participating athletes are Andre De Grasse (Athletics), Penny Oleksiak (Swimming), Rosie MacLennan (Gymnastics), Matt Berger (Skateboarding) and Jennifer Abel (Diving).
These athletes appear on Cheerios boxes (already heading to store shelves due to production lead times) – but in the social media videos, each will reveal a new Cheer for The Food Banks Frontline box featuring the photo and personal story of a community food banker. These boxes are limited edition and will not be available in stores.