Is Community Service the New Green?


Marjora Carter had a simple plan to “green the Bronx.” Upon forming Sustainable South Bronx, Carter worked to plant trees around the community thus creating “green collar” jobs. Her story and others will be the focus of Frito-Lay TrueNorth’s upcoming ad campaign breaking during the Oscars.

TrueNorth nut snacks joins a growing field of brands placing the community at the forefront of their marketing messages. Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, Starbucks and Scholastic, in conjunction with FAO Schwartz, are just the latest to rally around rebuilding neighborhoods and promoting community service in their advertising.

A focus on the community “is in the air,” said Simon Sinek, president of Sinek Partners brand consultancy. “With President Obama we are ushering in an era of service. Community service is bigger than green.”

How big? Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes is running its first ever Super Bowl spot to promote its “Earn your stripes effort.” The “Plant a seed” spot will encourage moms to nominate local playing fields for renovation at

“At Kellogg, we are fully committed to supporting programs that encourage kids to be active and that have a positive impact in our communities,” said Kellogg rep Susanne Norwitz. Fifty fields will be selected as part of the campaign.

TrueNorth is targeting a different audience, namely boomers interested in a healthy snack. To do so, its new campaign, debuting Feb. 22, shows people who have “found their true north” in life. In addition to Carter, Penny Harvest founder Teddy Gross will also be featured. Consumer stories that were submitted at will also be featured in a 60-second ad directed by Helen Hunt.

The message works because Boomers “are at a stage when they are asking themselves, ‘What am I passionate about in life? What is going to be meaningful to me?’” said Chip Walker, head strategist at Strawberry Frog, the agency responsible for the campaign.

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