American Dairy Association Eat Breakfast Case Study

 Behavior Modification Case Study


The evidence has been piling up for years. Study after study show that eating breakfast is critical to a child's success, in school and out.

Problem is, in New York City, where the student population qualifies for over 90% free or subsidized lunch, most students leave home without a square meal. The good news is that all NYC School District students qualified for free breakfast, as well. The bad news? only a handful were taking advantage of it.

This initiative, funded by the American Dairy Association, was built around a creative idea that you’re just not all there without breakfast, was designed to motivate a change in  behavior, getting more kids to take advantage of free breakfast, by viscerally demonstrating the importance of a complete breakfast. The campaign included a New York City  transit and billboard campaign and PSA with NY Giants running back, Brandon Jacobs, plus in-school promotional kits, with a testimonial-based DVD video (you can view at left), mailed to 130 New York City Schools Food Service Directors, plus retail promotion kits mailed to 500 supermarket dairy case managers.

The creative and the message clearly connected with the audience, as this integrated campaign helped boost school breakfast participation 140% in 2008. Today, the program continues to expand to other markets.

The next phase of the campaign, designed to increase breakfast participation to as close to 100% ad possible, was “Breakfast In The Classroom,” where students east in the classroom before class. This was critical since the majority of NYC schools didn’t have enough room in their cafeteria to seat even a third, much less all of the student body at one time. Lunches were spread over several periods for this reason. For breakfast before school, this was not possible. Hence, the idea of breakfast in the classroom was born. The video at right was used internally in the district to get teachers and administrators across the district on board with the idea, that had worked exceptionally well in pilot schools.

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