Not your mom’s baking contest

General Mills launches its first Canadian competition under Pillsbury and Betty Crocker, inspired by trends on social media.

General Mills Canada has launched a new program for its Pillsbury and Betty Crocker brands, tapping into social media trends in baking.

The new “Bake It Possible” contest launched earlier this month and offers a $10,000 grand prize for the best creation. Canadians can submit their ideas on the Bake It Possible website or by posting photos and videos to social media with the hashtag #BakeItPossible.

In the U.S., a similar contest has been running for decades under the Pillsbury brand, but this is a first for Canada.

The contest was inspired by the trend on social media and sites like BuzzFeed of unique recipes and creations using existing, easy-to-use baking products, says Alexander Benedet, marketing director for meals and baking at General Mills Canada.

Here, General Mills also wanted to bring in its Betty Crocker brand during the key baking season between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Though it has strong brand equity, it has not received much marketing support in the past five to seven years, Benedet says.

While aimed at the general population, General Mills expects a disproportionate number of entries from Pinterest- and Instagram-loving millennials, he says.

General Mills will have shelf talkers in-store with a call to action, along with specific retailer programs including in-store displays, recipe books and flyers.

Online, it has a heavy social presence, including promoted posts on Facebook and Instagram and recipe inspiration videos, along with a rally video with a call to action for the contest.

General Mills is leading the Bake It Possible program in-house, with PR support from Veritas.

The top 10 contest finalists will compete in a live bake-off in Toronto in March, judged by a celebrity panel. Their recipes will be turned into instructional videos.

Along with the $10,000 prize, the intention is to feature the winning recipe in an ad campaign next spring.