Forget about hyping the next filmmaker or writer under 30. A new initiative created by Honey Maid is looking for up-and-coming creative talent under 12.
Made Co., the latest effort to re-invent the 87-year-old brand, is essentially a creativity contest for kids ages 6-12. The winners land the opportunity to collaborate with industry professionals to produce their projects.
Developed by Droga5 New York, the Made Co. initiative was recently launched to coincide with a national advertising campaign the agency created for the brand’s newest snack, Honey Maid Grahamfuls Filled Crackers.
"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," says Droga5 chief strategy officer Jonny Bauer. "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."
Two of the TV ads serve as proof that kids can make things: one commercial includes some stop stop-motion animation from 11-year-old Wyatt. 14-year-old Jazmin’s fashion line (inspired by Honey Maid Grahamfuls) is featured in another Honey Maid spot.
Made Co. currently features a story book contest and a comic strip contest, in partnership with HarperCollins and Disney, respectively. The winner of the story book contest will get to work with Dan Gutman, author of the popular My Weird School book series, who will help him or her turn their story into a real book (with 10 copies) produced by HarperCollins.
For the comic strip contest, kids are tasked with creating a comic featuring Disney’s Phineas and Ferb. The winner will get to have an art lesson with a Phineas and Ferb animator.
Honey Maid is working with a number of other experts, including clothing designers, game and toy makers, and book publishers, on upcoming "challenges."
As for determining which companies to team with on the campaign, "it required a lot of legwork. This is something that no one has ever done before so this was uncharted territory," says Katie Butler, Senior Brand Manager, Kids Wholesome, Mondelēz International (owners of Honey Maid).
There is an open call for collaborators on Made Co.'s 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," reads the site. "Honey Maid is currently looking for like-minded organizations who believe in the importance of helping kids realize the pride and satisfaction that comes from making things."
Made Co. plans to introduce around 20 projects staggered throughout the year.
For the next contest, "Create the Next Miniclip Hero," kids will have the chance to submit ideas for a heroic character that will be designed and incorporated into an upcoming game on Miniclip.com.
"Honey Maid wants to make making stuff cool," says Bauer.