Name: Dave Karraker, director, PR and events, Skyy Spirits; Campari brand manager (San Francisco)
Placement: CBS Sunday Morning, January 1, 2012
Pitch timeline: Nine months
What are Campari's media goals and target outlets?
Campari, an apéritif with a bitter profile, has been embraced by the foodie consumer. As a result, it has seen its sales rise by double digits.
Our media objectives are to reach that consumer who is adventurous in food and drink, which means targeting not just outlets such as The Food Network and Bon Appétit, but also national lifestyle publications and TV.
What made CBS Sunday Morning such a good target? How did you reach out to the producer and reporters there?
Not only does the program reach a nationwide audience, but you would be hard pressed to get a more credible third-party endorsement than CBS Sunday Morning.
Since the show doesn't do a lot of food and wine segments, our challenge was to position Campari as a cultural trend. We initially reached out to the show's producers last spring through our outside agency, Hanna Lee Communications. We arranged to have the CBS reporter come to events such as the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, which showed the traction Campari was getting among bartenders and the cocktail crowd.
The resulting segment had mixologists creating the Bright Eye, a specific cocktail for CBS Sunday Morning that featured Campari, making it almost seem like product placement. Was it?
No, this was 100% PR. Hanna Lee introduced the reporters and producers to mixologists who are dedicated to Campari. Then they stayed in contact for nine months, giving them information, data, and examples on how this trend was happening around the US. And when the producers committed, we worked on overall messaging with Chad Solomon and Christy Pope, founders of Cuffs & Buttons Cocktail Catering, who were on the segment.
What was the hit's impact?
It was a six-minute segment on the New Year's Day edition of the show and I was immediately flooded with emails from our sales organization, distributors, and retailers in the space who raved about it. The segment and the drink were also covered as stories in themselves by several industry newsletters and bloggers.