The U.S. apple industry is taking a bite out of rising classroom costs with a new consumer education campaign, aptly titled “Apples for Education: Buy an Apple, Help a Student.”
Launching near the beginning of the new school year and culminating during peak apple harvest season, the U.S. Apple Association (USApple)’s program allows the U.S. apple industry and supporting brands to pledge financial support every time people snack, snap, tag and share pictures of themselves enjoying an apple or related product.
Program partners include returning supporters of past USApple campaigns, including Marzetti, Roth Cheese, and Johnsonville Sausage, as well as a new sponsor, Kind Snacks.
“With the backing of these great brands, Apples for Education builds on the time-honored, iconic association between apples and education, and will not only encourage consumers to eat apples and apple products, but also contribute to the wellbeing of kids in the classroom,” said Wendy Brannen, director of consumer health and public relations at Vienna, Va.-based USApple. “This goodwill campaign — which we hope will become a perennial cause program for our industry – conveys that our industry and apples support not only healthy bodies, but also healthy minds.”
Through Sept. 1, USApple is calling on members of the education community — teachers, counselors, administrators, etc. — to nominate their unique student causes at Apples4Ed.com.
As for qualifying projects, Brannen explains, “We are seeking diverse causes across multiple states so that our members, program partners, and even retailers have the chance to get involved at the local level and encourage voting in their communities.” Such projects include school gardens, educational field trips, athletic equipment, musical instruments, classroom textbooks, library e-readers, nutrition education programs, and the like.
Then on Sept. 25, prior to the beginning of National Apple Month in October, USApple will unveil its selected nominees on the new Apple4Ed.com microsite, encouraging people to “Snack, Snap, Tag and Share.” The snack may include a fresh apple, applesauce, apple juice or sponsor's product. After they “snap” a photo, consumers should “tag” it by naming their favorite nominated school project with the tag #Apples4Ed. Then they share the pic on Apples4Ed.com or Instagram to vote for the school cause.
For every picture consumers share, USApple and its partners will pledge funds to the nominated causes. Through mid-November, USApple will collect photos and tally the votes. Along the way, USApple will encourage participation with weekly drawings, whereby participants can win Apple gift cards and have money donated directly to their selected project. The cause with the most votes gets the highest donation, and selected projects will receive funds.
USApple, its members and partners will publicize the program through direct outreach to educators, bloggers and the media; special activities on its social channels, including Twitter parties, Facebook promotions and special Instagram and Pinterest campaigns; and media events, such as a National Apple Month radio tour.