To achieve our goal of connecting consumers to the Foundation’s mission, we share compelling stories of children whose lives have been changed for the better because of consumers’ purchases of Newman’s Own, Inc., foods and beverages. In this case, Newman's Own Foundation partnered with SeriousFun Children's Network to spotlight the inspirational story of Jourdan, a 13-year-old from Pennsylvania who has sickle cell anemia. Jourdan annually attends a SeriousFun camp in Ohio, and we opted to illustrate his camp experience through animation.
For context, SeriousFun Children's Network is a global community of 30 camps and programs for seriously ill children, and it is a grantee partner of Newman's Own Foundation. The Foundation and SeriousFun share a founder in celebrity and pioneering social entrepreneur Paul Newman.
A secondary goal was to develop a stronger working partnership with SeriousFun Children’s Network. Launching a successful animation across our respective social media channels would broaden our opportunities for future collaboration.
This project relied on a great deal of collaboration. Creative input came from Newman's Own Foundation, SeriousFun Children's Network, SteegeThomson Communications, and Afresh Collective. We began with outreach to SeriousFun Children's Network to help us locate the right story to tell through animation. SeriousFun is a global community of 30 camps and programs for seriously ill children. Their team surveyed member camps to identify a compelling story. They connected us with Jourdan, an active kid who easily conveyed his excitement about his camp experiences. Next, we engaged SteegeThomson, a communications agency, and Afresh Collective, a video production company, to help bring Jourdan’s story to life.
There were a few challenges along the way., First, we were in the middle of a global pandemic and working with a child with a serious health condition. To safely work with Jourdan, we decided to conduct his interview through a videoconferencing platform and to incorporate videoconferencing into the context of the current times with an animation video, having Jourdan narrate his own story. (For example, see :03–:12 in the video.)
Another challenge included meeting deadlines as we moved this project along. With so many stakeholders, approvals had to go through many layers. Jourdan’s parents, SeriousFun Children’s Network, and Newman’s Own Foundation all took part in the approval process. Our project manager, Brandon Rook needed to remain organized and diligent in following up with agencies and stakeholders to keep video production moving along.
In executing this project, we strove to replicate the look and feel of summer camp in our video — keeping the animation elements colorful and “fun.” We also complied with ADA guidelines by including closed captioning. For accuracy, we kept the illustration specific to the words spoken by Jourdan, and for additional accuracy we kept his animated shirt the same color as the one he wore in his Zoom interview.
This video was a success in several respects. First, we were able to put it together in a safe manner for all parties during the pandemic.
Second, we met our objective of showing consumers where their dollars go (transforming the lives of children who face adversity). Additionally, Newman’s Own, Inc.—the food and beverage company—has repurposed the content by sharing it in meetings with potential buyers to spotlight how having Newman's Own products in their respective stores will ultimately make the world a better place. Our national sales manager, Amy Everhart, who works with Kroger and Target, reports positive feedback since our rollout.
Several SeriousFun camper stories have been added to our product packaging, including Jourdan’s. Our strategy included adding a QR code directing consumers to an online landing page with more information, video, and photos. Consumers are able to then connect the stories on the packaging with our mission of donating “100% Profits to Kids.” A few associate buyers and planogram writers who weren’t as familiar with the brand have become much better educated on our mission from the assets developed for packaging, website, and social media.
Third, since partnering with SeriousFun Children’s Network on this project, we've been able to pursue, create, and launch six more camper stories, sharing and cross-promoting this content with SeriousFun. This serves to spotlight their impactful work, and it has deepened and strengthened our working relationship with SeriousFun.