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The New York Times reports on how the leadership at Newman's Own, the CPG brand created by actor/philanthropist Paul Newman to fund a wide variety of charities, is having to make "more of a show of its record of magnanimity, rolling out a marketing initiative aimed at millennials who might not recognize the famous face of the brand and might have little to no knowledge of its altruistic story.

"For a no-frills company that has tried to avoid the spotlight — its celebrity co-founder notwithstanding — the new promotional effort is an unusual step. But it follows a growing pattern among large corporations to highlight their philanthropic work to appeal to a younger audience. Millennials especially have demonstrated a propensity to favor companies with a generous mission."

The Times writes that "the foundation, which is funded entirely through sales of Newman’s Own products and does not accept donations, gave away $260.8 million before Mr. Newman’s death and $224.4 million since then, or about $28 million annually since 2008. But only a third of Newman’s Own customers said they realized the company gave away its profits," and even fewer millennials.

Among the things it is doing is "rewording and repositioning the 'All Profits to Charity' banner that typically frames Mr. Newman’s face. The new label, which is expected to start appearing in stores in December, will be more prominently located on the products. The wording has also changed to '100 Percent to Charity,' which Newman’s Own feels is a slight but significant clarification to consumers."

And, Newman's Own is taking to social media to be more upfront about its mission, goals and achievements.
KC's View:
First of all, kudos to Newman's Own and its late founder for creating something so effectively and sustainably philanthropic.

Second, let's face it ... I'm guessing that more millennials would think of Paul Newman, who died in 2008, as they guy from the spaghetti sauce jar, rather than the actor from so many great movies and citizen who was highly engaged in many public policy debates during his lifetime.

One of the things that every company has to do is continue to communicate and refine messages so that they are relevant and resonant to the audience. You can't just assume that everybody gets it.