Le Whif's message of science and fun arouses interest of consumers

Last spring, Paris-based LaboGroup released a prototype of a breathable chocolate product, invented by Harvard University professor David Edwards, in the US.

Client: LaboGroup/Art Science Labs (Paris)
PR agency: Marlo Marketing Communications (Boston)
Campaign: Launch of Le Whif, breathable chocolate product
Duration: December 2009-March 2010
Budget: $35,000

Last spring, Paris-based LaboGroup released a prototype of a breathable chocolate product, invented by Harvard University professor David Edwards, in the US.

It was well received by media and consumers, so the company hired Marlo Marketing Communications to support the official US launch of the updated product, which featured biodegradable packaging and a host of new flavors.

"We wanted to build the Le Whif brand," says Tom Hadfield, COO at LaboGroup, which supports Edwards' Art Science Labs, a network of art and design labs.

Strategy
Educating consumers about the product concept was a key goal, explains Hadfield, as was "introducing consumers to the idea of breathing their food." To ensure it would be perceived as safe, and not a weight-loss tool, the team highlighted the fact that a Harvard professor created it.

Marlo Fogelman, founder of Marlo Marketing Communications, adds, "It got a lot of attention from people looking at it as a weight-loss [product]. We needed to make sure it was perceived as a new, fun consumer tool."

Tactics
In March, the team hosted press events and VIP receptions at Boston Cardullo's and New York's Dylan's Candy Bar to celebrate the launch. It also offered Edwards for media interviews.

In addition, the team encouraged broadcast outlets to hand out samples and gauge consumer reactions on camera.

Results
The product sold out on the first day at both stores. With a three-week waitlist on lewhif.com, production was increased to 100,000 pieces per week.

Placements included NBC's Today, Daily Candy, Urban Daddy, and the New York Post.

Future
Le Whif plans to expand by launching and promoting new flavors in the US and abroad.

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