Last night at the Oscars, the snack company, TrueNorth Snacks, unveiled the winner of their True North story competition. A 60 second film, directed by Helen Hunt, was a moving story about Lisa Nigro of Chicago, who began helping the homeless by delivering sandwiches in a little red wagon and now runs the Inspiration Corporation which includes projects like the Inspiration Cafe and other centers in Chicago that feed the homeless, provide social services, job development and housing.
TrueNorth Snacks, a division of Frito Lay will also be using the inspiring stories of their runners up from the competition, in the unveiling of their nationwide marketing campaign.
In addition with a $25,000.00 prize, the company has provided the winner and the runners up with exposure to the public and the opportunity to help raise more funding for them, as well as inspiring others to follow their own "true north".
I'm sure the producers of the Oscars were thrilled to be perceived as caring, (although this was probably paid-for advertising), Helen Hunt gets a public relations boost, and TrueNorth has gained a lot of public good will that could translate into a boost of sales.
TrueNorth Snacks built on their strength, in this case their values and vision to come up with a cause that they cared about. They came up with a creative way to blend supporting their cause with their advertising and cleverly tied-in their cause and campaign with one of Hollywood's biggest stars and biggest events. I would have loved to be on the brainstorming team that came up with this. They win my award for most imaginative way of doing well, by doing good.