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Industry Knives
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency Pohmedia
Released October 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Branded Content & Sponsorship
Product/Service: GERBER KNIVES
Media Agency: POHMEDIA, Sunrise, USA
Creative Strategist: Josh Munsee (Pohmedia)
Vice President Marketing: Corey Maynard (Gerber Legendary Blades)
Senior Brand Manager: Jason Michelotti (Gerber Legendary Blades)
Digital Strategist: Jordan Bratter (Pohmedia)
Traditional Media Strategist: Matt Higgins (Pohmedia)
President: Jason Landmark (Gerber Legendary Blades)
President: Jim Poh (Pohmedia)
Media placement: TV program integration - AMC The Walking Dead - 31/10/2011

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
Gerber Legendary Blades is a leading brand in categories where “every day carriers” of knives are commonplace – military, police and hunting. To fuel growth beyond ordinary expectations we realised we needed to reach outside those natural core audiences and build a bigger market of every day carriers among every day guys.

Working in our favour was the observation that guys like tools, including knives. In fact, by age 13 most guys believe they should be carrying a knife, only to be convinced by others - especially Mom - that they are wrong. Still that latent desire persists through adulthood. Our goal was to capitalise on that desire with our “Hello Trouble” campaign wherein Gerber products could help you accomplish tasks and overcome obstacles, making you “Unstoppable”.

Working against us was an extremely limited budget: less than the cost to produce a 30 second TV commercial for many national brands.

Creative Execution
We compiled a list of environments where the “Unstoppable” message could live naturally and reach audiences outside our core. At the top was AMC’s critically acclaimed zombie apocalypse series The Walking Dead and we approached them with ideas for product integration.

Weapons that make no sound are the best choice for killing zombies since noise attracts “walkers”. So the writers at The Walking Dead were eager to integrate Gerber knives, machetes and axes as the perfect silent slayers of zombies, and even added other survival staples like Gerber shovels and flashlights. Used as defensive and survival tools, Gerber was a key part of the story line with products featured in 10 of the 13 episodes in the record breaking Season 2. The partnership extended online to display banners, social media posts, webisodes, and a product collection we call the “Apocalypse Kit” that was dreamed up by the show’s producers.

Results and Effectiveness
Over 45,000 new fans and over 10,000 comments on Gerber and AMC’s Facebook pages; Gerber web visits up 280% on average - one surge of over 2MM page views crashed Gerber’s website. Fan demand to buy products featured in the show resulted in the Apocalypse Kit that alone produced enough sales to pay for the integration. Web sales were up 201% during the campaign and retail sales gained double digit increases as well.

This program integration helped Gerber exceed its goals and thanks to reruns and DVD sales will continue to deliver the “Unstoppable” message for years to come.