CAMPAIGNS: Product PR - Green Foods has a blast with new mist

Client: Green Foods Corp. (Oxnard, CA)

PR Team: The TransMedia Group (Boca Raton, FL)

Campaign: "Blast of Grass"

Time Frame: May 21 to Labor Day weekend and ongoing

Budget: About $50,000



Its name says it all. Green Foods is the leading supplier of natural

food supplements made from barley grass. Its flagship product is Green

Magma, a nutritious food supplement. The company's green groceries are

placed in 99% of the country's health-food stores, but Green Foods wants

to go beyond the granola set. And the company knows it's not easy being

green: people have an aversion to green food, especially when it smells

and tastes like grass.



Green Foods turned to Boca Raton, FL-based TransMedia Group, an agency

with experience in food and alternative health PR, among other

areas.



Strategy



TransMedia CEO and chairman Thomas Madden learned that Green Foods was

developing a new product: a refreshing and skin-protecting barley-grass

mist called Blast of Grass. He felt that this item was inherently more

fun than Green Magma, and would help introduce the category and get

publicity for the other Green Foods products.



In addition, Madden thought that Green Foods had "assets" it was

under-using: a number of athletes who were fans of Green Magma and

worked as unpaid spokespeople for the company.



TransMedia arranged for Green Foods to have a presence at several events

involving the athletes. Madden noticed that the athletes, though

enthusiastic about Green Foods products, were not mentioning them in

interviews. "They didn't know how to do it and felt shy about being

commercial," he says.



So he trained them, showing them how to fit in mentions of the product

while discussing their fitness.



Tactics



On June 23, Carol Sing, a 59-year-old mother of three who is the oldest

woman to swim the English Channel, competed in the 28.5-mile Manhattan

Island Marathon Swim around the New York isle, having the green barley

mist sprayed on her before, during, and after the race. Before and after

Sing's swim, the agency hired models - clad in green scarves and grass

skirts - to stand in front of three GNC locations in Manhattan, offering

to squirt passersby with Blast of Grass and inform them that Green Magma

was available for purchase in the store. (The spray will be on shelves

in September.)



In July, TransMedia and Green Foods took the unusual step of putting out

a release thanking H.J. Heinz for breaking the color barrier with its

green ketchup. "They have opened doors by spreading the word that green

is good," says Dennis Hoth, Green Foods national sales and marketing

manager. "We appreciate their help."



Results



Media outlets covering the athletic events and Blast of Grass include

London's The Guardian, The San Diego Union-Tribune, AdWeek, Acting

World, WCBS radio (New York), WSPD-TV (Toledo, OH), FOX 6 News (San

Diego), KTYD (Santa Barbara, CA) and Wireless Flash News

(www.flashnews.com), which serves over 800 media outlets.



During the New York tour, TransMedia paid a spectator $10 to

secure a key position on the rail outside the Today show studio. A

publicist wearing a cowboy hat and grass skirt got the product on camera

during Kenny Rogers' outdoor performance.



"We're picking up steam," says Hoth. "It's the most I've seen of

publications actually picking up this stuff. We are very excited about

the coverage."



Future



TransMedia and Green Foods will continue to use athletes to promote the

green products. Green Foods also plans to have a VNR out in September.



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