Nuts

The ad caught my eye. It was a full-page in TIME. Two sentences (really words) stopped me dead.

The story of a simple nut. Made extraordinary. Wow! Great words! What's this all about?

The company is called True North and in the fine print I saw it is owned by Frito-Lay and they have a website. That's where I went to read the extraordinary story.

When I read "the story" on the site, I learned they had created a new nut snack. That might be an extraordinary story if you're in the snack business but I think most people would hesitate to use the word extraordinary. Then I dug deeper and discovered the company had a contest where they invited people to submit their "True North Story." And, they had a definition of true north that I love. You'll have to click on The True North stories to see it.

They picked a winner out of over 2,000 entries and gave her $25,000 and ran her story as a commercial during the Academy Awards. But, what about the 1,999 people who also have extraordinary stories? You can read about some of them on the site and also watch some videos.

I then wrote to Frito-Lay. I asked them if they had a plan for spreading the other stories besides putting them on their website. Sixteen days later I got what is pretty much a stock reply from Consumer Affairs. They are "thrilled" I enjoyed their commercials during the Academy Awards. And, they gave me the link to their website again.

They also ignored my question about how they are going to spread these stories and help some very deserving people and organizations.

Now, I'm torn. These stories are worth reading and watching. I also think if True North wants to live their story – their manifesto – they need to step up and really spread these extraordinary stories – not just use them to market their snacks on their website.

So, what do you think? Does Frito-Lay plan on spreading these wonderful stories and helping a lot of deserving organizations? Or, is this simply a marketing tactic?

I'm an optimist. I think True North has big plans for these stories. I'm looking forward to watching what happens. So, for now, I'm helping to spread their story. Take a look, read some stories and then tell Frito-Lay you want to know what they're going to do next.

Tell them it would be nuts not to follow-through.

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