Innocent Promo, Case study THE BIG KNIT

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Industry Charities, Foundations, Volunteers
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Released December 2009

Credits & Description

Category: Consumer Goods, including FMCG and Household Products
Chairman: Graham Goodkind (Frank PR)
Account Manager: Sophie Smallwood (Frank PR)
Account Executive: Corinna Field (Frank PR)
Media placement: Print - News - Daily Mail - 12th October
Media placement: Broadcast - News - Radio Five Live - 12th October
Media placement: Broadcast - News - BBC News - 12th October
Media placement: Print - Feature - Sunday Express - 17th October
Media placement: Print - Feature - Sunday Telegraph - 22nd November
Media placement: Broadcast - Launch - GMTV - 23rd November
Media placement: Broadcast - Launch - BBC Newsnight - 23rd November
Media placement: Broadcast - Interview - Alan Titchmarsh Show - 4th December
Media placement: Broadcast - Interview - This Morning - 23rd December
Media placement: Print - Ongoing Noise - You (Daily Mail Supplement) - 29th November

Summary of the Campaign
To launch and create talkability around the sixth annual Innocent Big Knit campaign, we reunited The Saint Winifred’s School Choir almost 30 years after they rose to fame to record and release a 2009 version of their iconic song, ‘There’s No One Quite Like Grandma’. The standalone PR campaign provided a fresh approach for the charity initiative, which raises money for Age Concern and Help the Aged, by celebrating the contribution of grandmas who are key to the success of the Big Knit as they are responsible for knitting the 500,000+ mini hats that are created that go on special edition Innocent products. Remembered fondly for their numberone hit song, the reformed school choir attracted widespread media attention over the course of the three month campaign. Coverage was secured at every stage of the tiered campaign from announcing the comeback, to reuniting the choir and the official release of the charity single which all contributed to raising vital funds to support healthy eating and drinking projects for older people. The campaign had a PR value of £3.05 million and contributed to 2009 being the biggest ever year for the Big Knit with a total charity donation of over £220,000.

The Goal
The principal objective was to generate publicity and word-of-mouth for Innocent’s 2009 Big Knit charity initiative. The brand needed some ‘new news’ to engage consumers and increase buzz ahead of, and whilst, the knitted products were in store. A fresh approach to promote the campaign was needed to maximise the fundraising effort and get more consumers engaging with the product. It was also imperative that the idea had longevity to sustain coverage and embraced the brand’s personality, whilst also raising the profile of the charities at a time of year when older people are at their most vulnerable in the UK.

2009 was the biggest ever year for The Big Knit with: - Over 600k behatted products sold; - Charity donation of over £220k; - 118% uplift in sales for the period; - Highest ever website visits (over 58,000 unique web page views); - Highest ever Metrica ranking for the charities based on volume of coverage; - 7% increase in daily Innocent buzz tracking. Following the initial announcement, coverage appeared across the nationals which instantly wet the appetite of the press, leading to widespread interest from print, online, regional and broadcast media who quickly got behind the story with highlights including Sunday Express, Sunday Telegraph, This Morning, GMTV and Newsnight. The campaign generated: - Over 300 pieces of media coverage; - PR value of over £3.05 million; - ROI of 26.8:1; - Coverage on four music channel playlists; - A week-long ‘Grandma’ segment on the Chris Moyles’ Radio One breakfast show.

The four-phase campaign had time to create a buzz and provided several opportunities for coverage from the recruitment of the choir (via social networking sites) through to the launch of the single and video. This included: 1. Hype - a news announcement marked the choir’s comeback. 2. Unveil – the first opportunity for press to see and speak to the choir as they recorded the song and video. 3. Launch – to launch the single and video, the choir gave their first live performance, undertook interviews, official photography was released and behind-the-scenes footage was distributed. 4. Ongoing noise – supporting news continued the noise and media interest in the story. Glamorous grandma June Whitfield added additional media collateral with a cameo in the music video and supporting media interviews to raise awareness of the project. Pete Waterman also added record company kudos by backing the choir against Simon Cowell’s X-Factor winner.

The Situation
As a new business brief, smoothie-maker Innocent, challenged PR with creating awareness and generating publicity around its sixth Big Knit charity campaign which raises money for Age Concern and Help the Aged by selling special edition bottles complete with small knitted woolly hats. The annual campaign was well established amongst a core audience, but Innocent wanted a fresh momentum in the sixth year of the campaign to increase sales, re-engage media, maximise the charity donation and the overall buzz for the initiative ahead of the knitted products going in store on 4th December and whilst they were on the shelf.

The Strategy
A campaign was devised to recognise and celebrate the contribution of grandmas across the UK through the reformation of the St Winifred’s School Choir. Now in its sixth year, the campaign needed a fresh approach due to media fatigue surrounding the Big Knit and knitting, so attention was focussed on the elderly who are the beneficiaries of the charity initiative. The tiered campaign targeted a mass audience, focussing media coverage on national, women’s, regional and online media. Now mostly in their 30’s, 14 members of the original choir (who now included a nurse, mortgage advisor and HR consultant) reformed as The Innocent Big Knit Choir to record the charity single which went on sale in November. The 2009 version of ‘There’s No One Quite Like Grandma’ was available on iTunes and the single went on sale (and sold out) in over 250 Age Concern shops across the country in December.