Thomas’ is serving up its English muffin brand’s “Wake Up to What’s Possible” campaign messaging in the great outdoors. The Bimbo Bakeries USA-owned baked goods company partnered with non-profit organizations in the Pacific Northwest to engage consumers in volunteer-led cleanup events honoring National Public Lands Day on Sept. 25. And, naturally, they involved breakfast.
The brand leveraged the volunteer networks of its partners Washington State Parks Foundation, Friends of Lake Sammamish Park in Seattle and Forest Park Conservancy in Portland, OR, to spread the word about restoration projects among local consumers. Volunteers gathered to improve the ecological health of forests in Lake Sammamish State Park near Seattle and Wallace Park-Leif Erikson Trailhead in Portland, OR, by weeding, collecting trash and completing beautification efforts including creating more accessible trail systems.
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Following their volunteer work, consumers were treated to food from local eateries Zeeks Pizza and The Daily Feast, which catered a breakfast featuring Thomas’ products. The brand plans to grow the cleanup program into a larger, annual event benefitting local organizations.
The campaign was inspired by research that showed consumers in the Pacific Northwest, like much of the world, have been spending more time outdoors amid the pandemic. In addition to the volunteer efforts, Thomas’ has donated $20,000 to the three organizations in support of future expansion projects and trail maintenance.
“We try to give back to the community, and the great outdoors is a big focus for consumers in the Pacific Northwest,” says Michael Jensen, brand manager for Thomas’. “We want to give back where it matters, so we have been tweaking our marketing efforts to address what consumers care about most in different geographic areas.”Before the cleanup events, Thomas’ had not activated any in-person events since the start of the pandemic, and Jensen says that plans for a pop-up café in New York City were canceled due to lockdowns. For now, the brand is finding value in staying local and making an impact.
“Our goal is to be part of a community, not just as a big brand,” says Jensen. “This is a different type of experiential. It’s about connecting with consumers in a totally different way. It’s about feel-good KPIs.”
Photo credit: Nityia Photography; Evergreen Event Photography for Thomas’ Breads