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Cal Giant joins Sony Pictures in cause marketing campaign

In a very extensive cross-promotion, California Giant Berry Farms is joining Sony Pictures Animation, Feeding America and some other top grower-shippers in a marketing campaign tied to the release of the production company’s new animated feature, “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.”

The movie features several fruits and vegetables as super heroes who come to save the day. As such it was a natural for the Watsonville, CA-based berry grower to get involved. “Sony saw some of our marketing campaigns online and elsewhere and gave us a call,” explained Cal Giant Director of Marketing Cindy Jewell.

The idea was to not only promote the movie and fruits and vegetables, but tie in a cause marketing campaign for Feeding America, which is one of the nation’s leading hunger relief organizations.

Barry-the-berryBarry the Berry is featured in ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.’Sony Pictures Animation is leading the way with a cash donation to Feeding America. In addition, the participating food growers — including California Giant Berry Farms, Cal-Organic Farms, Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Grimmway Farms and the National Watermelon Promotion Board — will donate more than 80,000 pounds of fresh produce to Feeding America’s nationwide network of food banks during the August and September timeframe leading up to the movie’s release in September.

In addition, the produce companies will market some of their fresh products with QR codes and other information leading consumers to There, consumers will find useful information — including recipes, information about the film, and how they can help by making a donation to Feeding America.

The campaign has been timed to coincide with Hunger Action Month, which uses September every year to raise public awareness of the more than 50 million people who struggle with hunger in the United States. Hunger Action Month brings together the Feeding America nationwide network of food banks and their 61,000 agencies to urge individuals to take action in their communities and help fight hunger.

“This opportunity is unique and right in line with our commitment to cause marketing as an integral aspect of our business,” said Jewell. “When Sony’s promotion team contacted us, there was no doubt we wanted to be involved. It’s a powerful message to have multiple products in the produce department supporting Feeding America and promoting healthy eating.”

“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2” picks up where Sony Pictures Animation’s 2009 hit comedy left off. This time the movie includes food-animal hybrids — “foodimals” (such as berry and a carrot), who battle hungry tacodiles, shrimpanzees, hippotatomuses, cheespiders and other food creatures to save the world.

Jewel said the promotion lends itself to other opportunities as well. In fact, Cal Giant and several other of the produce companies are sponsoring a tie-in on Sept. 6 at a San Francisco Giants baseball game where the Feeding America charity will benefit.

Besides including “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2” information on its packaging, Cal Giant is touting the movie and the charitable tie-in in its social media campaign. Jewel said the campaign will begin in earnest in late July on both the packaging and on the company’s website. The movie is scheduled to have its premiere in late September. Jewel said this is probably the largest multi-layered promotion that Cal Giant has ever been involved in with other firms.