Pop-Tarts Promo, Case study POP-TARTS WORLD by MSLGroup

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Industry Crispbread
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Agency MSLGroup
Released September 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Consumer Goods, including FMCG and Household Products
Advertiser: KELLOGG'S
Senior Vice President: Emily Buchanan (MSLGROUP)
Media placement: Broadcast Coverage - The Today Show - August 10, 2010

Summary of the Campaign
For an iconic brand with roots that go back to the 1960s, staying relevant and conversation worthy – even while the product remains a household staple – can be a challenge. That was the case with Pop-Tarts®, a go-to breakfast treat for consumers of all ages since 1964, which was beginning to lose relevance despite decades of traditional advertising support.

The successful launch of a teen-targeted Facebook fan page in 2009 showed young consumers were looking for new ways to connect with the brand. But Kellogg’s wanted to strengthen the bond with all consumers and get everyone talking about Pop-Tarts again. And it required a solution that went beyond traditional advertising.

The solution: a pop-up store in New York’s Times Square, which literally brought the brand to life and took the consumer experience to another level. Pop-Tarts World featured a café, which included items such as Pop-Tarts-infused ice cream and Pop-Tarts sushi, as well as interactive games and stations for personalizing Pop-Tarts pastries and customizing t-shirts. A supporting multi-tiered media relations campaign, which kicked off with a New York Times exclusive, created a frenzy that had media and consumers engaging, talking and Tweeting about Pop-Tarts. The results were pure pop culture gold.

The Situation

The Pop-Tarts brand has been a unique part of Americana for more than 45 years. In 2010, more than 2.5 billion Pop-Tarts were sold to Pop-Tarts lovers of all ages, going to 1 out of every 3 American households.

However, such ubiquity has its challenges. As a big brand, in a relatively low involvement category, Pop-Tarts is everywhere, but was rarely a topic of conversation. Despite decades of strong traditional advertising support, the brand was beginning to lose relevance.

A solution - using non-advertising methods were needed that would make the brand relevant again and re-inject it into the American conversation.

The Goal
An analysis of the Pop-Tarts Facebook page confirmed the teen audience was passionate about Pop-Tarts toaster pastries. But Kellogg’s wanted to give Pop-Tarts fans of all ages a reason to talk about the brand.

Research however confirmed that post-recession America was suffering from a generalized malaise and that a majority of Americans (69 percent) needed more excitement in their lives. This finding inspired the solution.

Specific program objectives were to:

• Renew America's love of Pop-Tarts among ALL consumers
• Get Pop-Tarts into the national spotlight to drive conversation about the brand
• Increase Pop-Tarts total sales vs. prior year

The Strategy
During concept development, the agency partners involved, sought to differentiate their pop-up branded retail environment (Pop-Tarts World) from other Times Square-branded retail stores, which are typically more focused on selling merchandise. Pop-Tarts World was designed to serve as a powerful way to engage the brand with consumers in a totally unique, unexpected, exciting and fun way. The idea was brought to life by a combination of experiential marketing and media relations support.

The experiential approach started with building an actual physical space/store that would deliver one-to-one "live advertising." The storefront served as a stage, the employees were the actors, and every element inside the walls delivered on a specific insight in a personalized fashion. To authentically deliver credible third-party endorsements and word-of-mouth buzz, there was a robust media and social media relations plan that amplified the news about Pop-Tarts World nationally.

Pop-Tarts World opened August 10, 2010. Store highlights included interactive touch screens with games and a giant "varietizer" that allowed guests to create custom-mixed boxes of Pop-Tarts. The Pop-Tarts café, a counter-style food service operation, featured a variety of "Pop-Tarts-inspired" items, like Pop-Tarts-infused ice cream and granola bars. The biggest hit was Pop-Tarts sushi, which was bite-sized pieces of minced Pop-Tarts rolled into a fruit wrap.

To kick-off the multi-tiered media relations strategy, The New York Times was given exclusive access to Pop-Tarts World the weekend prior to opening. As a result, a photo-filled feature about Pop-Tarts World appeared on the front page of the Times business section the morning of August 9. A packed media preview party followed that evening.

The opening, hosted by Caroline Rhea, was a media FRENZY, with every major broadcast network, national cable news network, and New York local TV station on-site to cover the event.

Documented Results
Objective No.1: Renew America's love of Pop-Tarts®

In a survey among Pop-Tarts consumers:
• 69% had a higher opinion of Pop-Tarts vs. other brands as compared to 40% in control group
• 78% stated Pop-Tarts appealed more than other brands compared to 60% in control group
• Pop-Tarts consumers who visited the store purchased 36% more Pop-Tarts upon returning home

Objective No.2: Get Pop-Tarts® into the national spotlight

• 1.1 BILLION PR impressions in first 4 weeks
• 1,000+ broadcast segments including: The Today Show, CBS Evening News, ABC World News, Fox News
• Print/online features including: The New York Times, Associated Press, Parade.com
• Social Media: No.2 most buzzed about brand in 2010; Facebook fan base grew 10% in two weeks

Objective No.3: Increase Pop-Tarts Total Sales vs. 2010

• 2.2% increase in Pop-Tarts profit driven by initiative
• $2.65 long-term brand ROI / $1.77 short-term brand ROI