Nestle Promo, Case study CONCESSION STANDS TO THE BIG SCREEN! by Golin Harris

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Industry Bars, Candies, Cafe
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency Golin Harris
Released May 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Consumer Goods, including FMCG and Household Products
Product/Service: CANDY BAR
Marketing Brand Manager: Jeremy Vandervoet (Nestle Butterfinger)
Pr Manager: Tricia Bowles (Nestle)
Brand Marketing Associate: Terry Thomas (Nestle Butterfinger)
Brand Marketing Associate: Bianca Cornelio (Nestle Butterfinger)
Brand Marketing Associate: Andrew Lorden (Nestle Butterfinger)
Executive Director/Marketing And Brand Strategy Practice: Samantha Sackin (Golinharris)
Senior Manager: Jessica Del Mundo (Golinharris)
Manager: Rhiannon Richards (Golinharris)
Associate: Steven Bram (Golinharris)
Associate: Diana Valdez (Golinharris)
Associate: Vashon Pruitt (Golinharris)
Manager: Chris Robins (Golinharris)
Online Agency: (Threshold Interactive)
Advertising Agency: (Dailey Advertising)
Media Buying Agency: (Zenith Interactive)
Talent Acquisition Agency: (Octagon)
Media placement: Press Release/Pitching -,, UPI, MTV, Cinema Blend - 5/13/11
Media placement: Media Mailer - - 5/13/11
Media placement: Press Release/Pitching -, Twilight Lexicon - 7/18/12
Media placement: Rob Lowe Signing/Media Photo Opps. - Getty Images, AP, EXTRA - 7/22
Media placement: Interviews with Rob Lowe - USA Today's Pop Candy, CNN, Access Hollywood - 7/22
Media placement: Photos of Butterfinger Man & Rob Lowe in directing action - Yahoo!, GQ, Celeb Buzz. E!, Denver Post, Funny or Die - 7/21 - 7/23
Media placement: Late Night Appearance - Jimmy Kimmel Live! - 10/12
Media placement: Satellite media tour - KTLA,EXTRA, IMDB, WGN, KSWB-TV - 10/13

Summary of the Campaign
How do you keep a 99-cent food product, which hasn’t changed in decades, top of mind with a fickle consumer-base obsessed with pop culture and entertainment? You make a movie! With an original movie produced by and all about the favorite peanut-buttery treat, Butterfinger, the 13th would go where no candy bar — or studio — had gone before, drawing in a celebrity director, media partners, as well as old and new fans alike.
Together with Nestlé USA, the agency devised a first-of-its-kind PR campaign that generated media attention at every phase of production from script to silver screen, and starring none-other-than the beloved iconic candy bar Butterfinger. With the brand’s tagline, 'Nobody’s Gonna Lay A Finger On My Butterfinger!', as inspiration for the film, Butterfinger the 13th became one of the most talked-about marketing and movie projects of the summer, even securing buzz at one of the biggest pop culture events of the year, ComicCon International, and attracting digital media partner Sony Pictures Television.
Overall, the Butterfinger the 13th campaign reached more than 750m impressions. News of the unconventional film, combined with its celebrity director, Rob Lowe, elevated the Butterfinger Facebook fan base to more than 1,000,000 fans/'likes', and even pushed the movie’s behind-the-scenes videos to the top of the online viral charts, leaving Butterfinger with increased sales and fans only screaming for more.

The Situation
Butterfinger is a one-of-a-kind candy bar with the crispety, crunchety, peanut-buttery taste people love.
Just 1 problem: the candy bar has become such a staple among confections, how can the agency still generate headlines, coverage and buzz while staying true to Butterfinger’s irreverent, fun and, most importantly, unique attitude?
The agency noticed the amount of excitement and media frenzy that surrounds film promotions and movie press junkets. The team decided to harness that energy and apply it towards its brand. The end result was a distinctive PR campaign that set a precedent not just for Butterfinger, but for PR.

The Goal
In shaping the campaign, the agency explored and researched traditional movie launches and applied many publicity methods and learnings from Hollywood to Butterfinger’s first-of-its-kind movie marketing project. During research and planning, the agency found that by applying the buzz-generating tactics of a movie press junket to Butterfinger’s commercial campaign, fans and media would have a natural draw to follow production from start to finish and remain engaged in the campaign. From the celebrity director’s announcement and release of his 'star director' headshot, to shooting exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews from the set, to using major studio partners to help propel the Butterfinger the 13th story, Butterfinger captivated audiences worldwide.

The Strategy
The primary campaign goal for public relations was to build consumer awareness and drive engagement with Butterfinger fans by creating the first crowd-sourced original movie inspired by the 'Nobody’s Gonna Lay A Finger On My Butterfinger' tagline. The agency would build buzz around the entire movie-making process behind Butterfinger the movie, thus bringing attention to Butterfinger the bar. Using Rob Lowe as the director of the film, filming pivotal scenes at Comic-Con, and spearheading the promotion of the movie on the Butterfinger Facebook page and later in movie theatres nationwide: all were key to driving fans to get excited about and watch the comedy-horror movie. The agency aimed to employ PR tactics that would succeed in securing at least 80m consumer media impressions, with a stretch goal of 100m consumer media impressions, for the entire campaign.

The agency began developing Butterfinger the 13th more than one year ahead of the film’s debut.

On May 13, the agency announced the film and debuted its star director. Comic-Con International was next – to promote the film and film a key scene involving fans. Prior to arriving at the frenzied Comic-Con, Butterfinger made light of its fellow projects by announcing that a movie-star 'Rob' would be 'filming at twilight'. With film Twilight as the media star of Comic-Con, the tactic propelled Butterfinger's SEO (capitalizing on searches of Rob Pattinson). As a result, producers at Summit Entertainment invited Butterfinger to sponsor the official Twilight party at Comic-Con.

All this talk of Butterfinger caught the attention of NCM Studios, who signed on to showcase the film on the big screen. finally, Lowe promoted the film in a satellite media tour, and on October 13, Butterfinger the 13th debuted to the public on Facebook and in select movie theaters across the country.

Documented Results
During the film’s promotional period of May 13 to October 13, Butterfinger the 13th earned more than 750m impressions, surpassing the agency’s goals by more than 400%. The movie’s behind-the-scenes vignettes received nearly 500,000 views. The brand’s Facebook page also experienced a 15% increase of fans during the campaign. Within 48 hours of the film announcement, Butterfinger the 13th drew its first 100m impressions, including coverage from Entertainment Tonight,, Entertainment Weekly, and other entertainment/movie trade outlets. Press outreach efforts during the first 2 months of the campaign resulted in features with USA Today, Access Hollywood, EXTRA and CNN, and others. Comic-Con efforts resulted in nearly half a billion impressions. On October 13, Butterfinger the 13th premiered at 700 theatres nationwide with its trailer appearing on more than 7,000 screens.

Overall, the Butterfinger the 13th campaign reached more than 750m* impressions, and sales of Butterfinger jumped more than 6%** during this period versus the previous year.

*No multipliers used in figures
**Source: AC/Nielsen (Nielsen Consumption 4COT)