Billy Bee searches for sweetness

The brand reinforces its 100% Canadianness by celebrating our kindest towns.
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Canadians have a lot of great qualities to be proud of, among them that we’re a sweet bunch.

The McCormick Canada-owned honey brand Billy Bee is focusing on that fact with a new marketing and CSR campaign centred on finding “Canada’s Sweetest Town.”

Along with wanting to celebrate Canadians during our 150th year, Cheryl Radisa, VP of marketing at McCormick Canada, told strategy via email that the campaign idea itself came from recognizing all the traits we have in common with honey bees – what the brand has coined “bee-haviours” – namely, being collaborative, welcoming, hardworking and enduring.

The brand, which leads the category, also wanted to reinforce that it’s made with 100% Canadian-sourced honey, a shift made earlier this year (previously, 85% of the honey was sourced from Canada, which led local beekeepers to petition McCormick to make a change).

Billy Bee is using secondary research like data from Statistics Canada on volunteerism, charitable giving, demographics, employment rates and even weather to to find its “sweetest town.” It’s also combining that with a review of news and civic awards to aid in its hunt.

The brand is largely targeting women 35 to 54 who are buying for their families and have ingredient sourcing in mind when shopping, Radisa says.

The campaign leading up to the winner announcement will include online social content, PR led by Weber Shandwick, mobile ads and in-store display (created by Blue Chip). UM handled media.

The winning town will be announced in September, which is National Honey Month. That town will receive a donation of $10,000 to go towards bee-friendly gardening initiatives – part of the brand’s plans to commit to using 100% Canadian beekeepers and honey.

So far, the brand has already recognized some sweet towns, like Markham, Ont., 70% of which is populated by international cultures, and Regina, which has one of the highest rates of volunteerism in the country.