EAT 'EM LIKE JUNK FOOD by HL Group for Baby Carrots

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EAT 'EM LIKE JUNK FOOD

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Industry Vending Machines, Confectionery & snacks
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency HL Group
Released August 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Media Relations
Advertiser: BOLTHOUSE FARMS
Product/Service: BABY CARROTS
Founding Partner: Hamilton South (HL Group)
Vice President, Corporate Communications: Christopher Giglio (HL Group)
Account Director, Corporate Communications: Kathleen Anne Corless (HL Group)
Vice President, Consumer Products: Devon Nagle (HL Group)
Vice President, Marketing & Business Development: Amy Hufft (HL Group)
Senior Manager, Consumer Products: Katie Brennan (HL Group)
Account Coordinator, Corporate Communications: Kayleigh Horvath (HL Group)
Account Manager, Consumer Products: Rachael McCallen (HL Group)
Media placement: Exclusive Campaign Announcement - USA Today - August 29, 2010
Media placement: Pick-Up From USA Today Story - FastCompany.com, ABCNews.com, MarketWatch.com,The Atlantic.com, Wired.co.uk, Yah - August 30, 2010
Media placement: Exclusive Release Of Campaign Assets - Associated Press - September 2, 2010
Media placement: Pick-Up From AP Story - Forbes.com, HuffingtonPost.com, ABCNews.com, YahooNews, YahooFinance, AOLNews.co - September 2, 2010
Media placement: Press Release - Reuters, Yahoo! Finance Canada, Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Seattle Times, - September 2, 2010
Media placement: Exclusive Pitch - ABC World News - September 9, 2010
Media placement: Exclusive Interview With Bolthouse Farms Executives - AOL Daily Finance - September 11, 2010
Media placement: Serviced Broadcast B-Roll Of Vending Machines - CNN Newsroom, Morning Express, HLN; CaWSYR-ABC, WWTI-ABC, WWTI-ABC, KBNZ-CBS, KO - September 16, 2010
Media placement: Feature Placement - New York Times Magazine, Full Page: Consumed - September 26, 2010
Media placement: Organic Coverage (Not Placed) - Saturday Night Live, TBS Funniest Commercials, New York Times (Front Page), E! C - Throughout
Media placement: Magazine Article - Fast Company - April 2011
Summary of the Campaign
In September 2010, Bolthouse Farms embarked on its first ever advertising campaign to reinvigorate the billion dollar baby carrot business and change the way Americans look at eating vegetables. The ‘Eat ‘Em Like Junk Food’ campaign was designed to re-brand baby carrots as junk food by packaging them in chip-like bags and rolling out TV spots more typical of snack foods.
After partnering with a world renowned ad agency and other carrot growers to maximize impact of the campaign, Bolthouse Farms faced the reality that they may not get credit for the campaign idea as well as that the intention of the campaign to make a meaningful health impact might be lost on consumers. Thus, the PR campaign was designed to position Bolthouse Farms as the mastermind behind both the campaign and a national healthy eating makeover, as well as to drive demand for the product.
The strategy we implemented positioned the campaign at the centre of the health food marketing debate and contributed to widespread media attention and customer demand for the rebranded product, ultimately driving an 11.3% median rise in baby carrot sales. The PR strategy also established Bolthouse Farms as an innovator in health food marketing.
The Situation
Bolthouse Farms, North America’s largest baby carrot producer, launched an advertising campaign to rebrand baby carrots as a snack food and ultimately reinvigorate the waning billion dollar industry which had fallen off with the recession.
To maximize impact, they partnered with 48 other carrot growers for a commodity campaign. This structure made the PR effort the only mechanism to identify Bolthouse Farms as the company behind the idea and primary way to benefit their brand. The PR campaign also created opportunity to highlight the health motivations behind the campaign and differentiate it from the myriad of health food marketing tactics.
The Goal
Primary Objectives:
• Highlight Bolthouse Farms’ public health motives behind the advertising campaign.
• Gain recognition for Bolthouse Farms as the driving force behind the marketing campaign despite it being a sector campaign that included 48 carrot growers and having been designed by a prominent ad agency.
• Elevate Bolthouse Farms and CEO Jeff Dunn as leaders in health food marketing.
Bolthouse Farms targeted two constituents (consumers and retailers) with this effort so it was important that the media campaign resonate with a broad consumer audience and support the planned rollout of a national advertising campaign.
The Strategy
We embarked on a three-tiered outreach strategy: an exclusive business story to frame the public conversation around the campaign and attract attention from key grocery trade publications; a press release to maximize media attention; and a robust consumer/product placement campaign focused on the test markets of Syracuse and Cincinnati to drive consumer demand.
An initial exclusive corporate story allowed us to obtain the desired positioning for Bolthouse Farms and CEO Jeff Dunn as key innovators behind the campaign as well as emphasize the business and health intentions of the campaign. It also exposed the campaign as part of a larger health marketing debate that sparked the discussion required to build widespread public interest which we capitalized on with consumer outreach. This strategy ensured broad coverage for the campaign and that all target constituencies (grocery chains, consumers and investors) would be reached while preserving our ability to control the positioning.
Execution
For the corporate story announcing the campaign, we targeted USA Today for its immense readership and appeal to both consumers and business executives. Realizing the inherent element of controversy that the campaign could draw, we identified a journalist that would frame the campaign as an unprecedented move within the larger health marketing debate.
Because the television spots were the most visually stunning aspect of the campaign, we held those back from USA Today so that they could be offered exclusively to the Associated Press as part of a second story with corporate and consumer appeal.
Following the AP story, we issued a press release and issued samples of the redesigned baby carrots junk food packaging to consumer media and influencers which enabled us to gain additional coverage, as well as arrange meetings for Bolthouse Farms with celebrities who would become ambassadors for the health aspects of the campaign.
Documented Results
Widespread media attention to the baby carrot re-branding campaign contributed to an 11.3% median rise in baby carrot sales in the test markets carrying the junk food packaging. Increased sales, in combination with strong consumer interest and demand, resulted in many of the major grocery store chains agreeing to carry the new packaging national in October 2010, including Kroger, Wegmans and Walmart. National media attention also enabled Bolthouse Farms to negotiate for larger display areas and better store positioning for baby carrots.
The public relations campaign positioned Bolthouse Farms as an innovator in the agriculture and health food marketing industry, thus elevating the company’s corporate profile overall. The notoriety of the campaign also directly resulted in meetings for the Bolthouse executive team with numerous influential celebrities that may result in future business opportunities and/or partnerships for the company, including: Jessica Seinfeld, Jamie Oliver and Lauren Bush. The crowning achievement of our media efforts was secured in late spring 2011: a five page feature in the April issue of Fast Company, cementing the campaign’s status as an innovative and remarkably successful case study in disruptive communications and marketing.