CPG, Retail Back-To-School Ads Address Parental Stress, Kids' Confidence



Stress reduction, confidence and happiness are common elements in advertising campaigns from CPG brands Banza and Clif Bar—as well as retailers Kohl’s and Wegmans—during a far-from-normal back-to-school season.

Chickpea-based foods marketer Banza has launched its biggest marketing campaign and first back-to-school initiative in an influencer partnership with children’s books author and illustrator Todd Parr.

It’s based on a survey last month in which parents with kids under age 18 said they’re “overwhelmingly stressed” about dinnertime, and that the resumption of in-class learning will only amplify the stress.

For $12, parents can purchase the Parr-designed "What’s For Dinner"? card game on the Banza website. It’s designed to take that daily decision-making off parents’ plates by letting players choose Banza products plus options for sauce and toppings.



The campaign is running across a variety of digital platforms and out-of-home placements.

“September is a time when routines typically change, especially for families with young kids. This can create additional pressure for the 90% of parents who are already stressed out by mealtime,” Banza vice president of marketing Nicole Landesman tells Marketing Daily. “We wanted to use OOH in cities with high foot traffic, like New York City and Chicago, to show parents that others feel this way as well and to help them feel positive about making more pasta, pizza and mac and cheese during busy weeks."

Banza is donating all proceeds from sales of the card game to No Kid Hungry and is giving 15 of its pizzas for every deck sold to The Food Bank for New York City.

Clif Bar’s Clif Kid brand is partnering with 13-year-old skateboarding champion Sky Brown—who won a bronze medal at the recent Tokyo Olympics—to provide a boost of confidence as they head back to school.

Consumers ages 18+ can visit a dedicated website for the chance to win a “sponsorship pack” containing Brown-inspired stickers and a box of Clif’s Iced Oatmeal cookies until Oct. 5, or while supplies last.

"Sky Brown represents everything we love at Clif Kid," Katie Wade, associate brand manager for Clif Kid, tells Marketing Daily. "Whether she’s creating a trick on her skateboard, or choreographing the video for her new song, her imagination is amazing. Like Clif Kid, she believes confidence is contagious, and wants to show kids they can do anything and have fun while doing it."

Kohl’s back-to-school messaging highlights kids who are heading back to the classroom along with parents who are returning to on-site work.

In this spot—accompanied by the late 1960’s tune "This Will Be Our Year"—a father drops his backpack-toting son off at school before cranking up the car radio to sing along. He’s interrupted when the son walks back, taps on the window and says “Have a great first day, dad.”

Music is also key to supermarket chain Wegmans’ back-to-school messaging. In this case it’s “The More We Get Together”—a song popularized by children’s music maestro Raffi.

This 60-second spot shows a little girl and her family preparing for a new school year and the child’s new musical instrument. It’s a trombone, which the child plays incessantly­­—to the frustration of her parents, brother and the family dog.

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