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Dec 05, 2011

General Mills expands open innovation program with launch of G-WIN Digital

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G-WIN Digital discovers, pilots and shares emerging digital marketing technologies with General Mills’ portfolio of iconic brands

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Today General Mills is expanding its successful General Mills Worldwide Innovation Network (G-WIN) open innovation program to include emerging digital marketing technologies with the launch of G-WIN Digital.  Through G-WIN Digital, the company seeks to connect with partners who have digital marketing technologies focusing on video, social, mobile and gaming.

“From the Betty Crocker radio programs in the 1920s, to sponsoring the first televised commercial sports broadcast in 1939, to the Betty Crocker iPad app today, General Mills has a rich history of using emerging technology to develop relationships with consumers,” said Mark Addicks, General Mills senior vice president and chief marketing officer.  “Today, digital marketing innovation is essential for us to connect and engage with consumers when and where they seek inspiration.”

G-WIN Digital leverages the benefits of open innovation to discover, pilot and share emerging digital marketing technologies with General Mills’ portfolio of iconic brands.

An example of this approach is the Shazam-enabled Pillsbury Crescents “Holiday Ideas Made Easy” TV commercial, which debuts nationally today. When consumers use Shazam to tag the Pillsbury Crescents commercial, they receive an interactive tag result on their mobile device which includes Pillsbury holiday recipe ideas and how-to videos, as well as links to Pillsbury.com, the Pillsbury Facebook page, and the Pillsbury Twitter account

General Mills is the first packaged foods company to leverage Shazam in a television campaign to deliver food content directly to people's mobile devices.

“Open innovation has proven to be a successful business strategy for General Mills,” said Addicks. “We believe that projects discovered through G-WIN Digital will help us find effective and efficient ways to connect General Mills brands with consumers.”

Prospective partners with emerging digital technologies can contact General Mills online by visiting www.GWINDigital.com. Submissions are evaluated according to several criteria, including application for General Mills brands, uniqueness and proof of concept. Media plan proposals, original content ideas and media kits will not be accepted.

About G-WIN
General Mills officially launched its open innovation program, the General Mills Worldwide Innovation Network (G-WIN) in 2007 to enhance and accelerate its innovation efforts. G-WIN has historically focused on food technology, products, packaging, ingredients and processing, and has connected with thousands of world-class innovators around the globe since its launch. More than 40 new General Mills products have incorporated a significant portion of open innovation, including Fiber One Brownies, Pillsbury Savorings, Progresso Light soups, Yoplait Smoothie, and Wanchai Ferry frozen dinner kits.

About General Mills
General Mills is one of the world’s leading food companies, operating in more than 100 countries.  Its consumer brands include Cheerios, Häagen-Dazs, Nature Valley, Yoplait, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Progresso and Old El Paso.  Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, General Mills had fiscal 2011 net sales of US$14.9 billion.

For more information, contact:

Maerenn Jepsen
General Mills
763-764-6364