Consumer Contest & Media Relations Campaign Ignites Ice Cream Fan Engagement

Consumer Contest & Media Relations Campaign Ignites Ice Cream Fan Engagement

Client: Baskin-Robbins

 Objectives:

  • Secure a high-profile, regional print story in Chicago to reach Sroga’s hometown audience and spur additional coverage in this important Baskin-Robbins market.
  • Highlight the crowdsourcing trend at Baskin-Robbins and other major companies to secure a national consumer trend story.
  • Introduce consumers to the new June Flavor of the Month, Toffee Pecan Crunch, well in advance to create buzz, increase online consumer engagement and secure solid sales numbers for June 2011.
  • Generate interest and news coverage to serve as a springboard for publicizing new flavor introductions and trends in 2011.

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Strategies and Tactics:

  • Created a photo opportunity for contest winner Diane Sroga during her trip to Baskin-Robbins headquarters, where she met the Baskin-Robbins culinary team and spent the day bringing her winning flavor to life.
  • Videotaped and photographed Sroga making the first batch of Toffee Pecan Crunch to use in the media relations program.
  • Distributed a local (Canton/Boston, Massachusetts) media alert announcing Sroga’s visit to Brand Central to encourage local media to attend and interview the contest winner.
  • Drafted a press release for national distribution highlighting the online component of the Flavor Contest and announcing the winner, whose flavor would be immortalized in the Baskin-Robbins flavor library.
  • Pitched the contest as an industry-leading example of the current crowdsourcing and consumer engagement trend taking place nationwide.

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Results:

Due to aggressive media relations, SA secured several top-tier media placements and generated widespread regional media results. Key placements included:

  • A national segment announcing the Online Flavor Creation Contest on The Early Show (viewership: 3,000,000) with Executive Chef, Stan Frankenthaler outside on the plaza.
  • A national exclusive with Bruce Horovitz of USA Today (circulation: 1,830,594) on March 24, 2011 focusing on the ongoing trend of consumer brands crowdsourcing their newest products.
  • Flavor Contest winner’s announcement appeared in the Chicago Tribune (circulation: 465,891), Sroga’s hometown paper, on January 26, 2011.
  • Coverage with local Massachusetts outlets Boston.com (3,941,424 readers) and The Patriot Ledger(circulation 40,154) on January 25 and 30, 2011 for Sroga’s trip to Brand Central to create her winning flavor.
  • Stories on or in  ChicagoTribune.com, USAtoday.com, San Antonio Express News, Journal Enquirer(Manchester, CT), Good Day Chicago, WMAQ-NBC Chicago, SunTimes.com (Chicago, IL) and Canton Patch.
  • Between January and March, SA reached more than 68 million people with the story of Diana Sroga’s winning flavor for a total of more than 73 million media impressions about Baskin-Robbins’ First Annual Online Flavor Creation Contest.

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