Health messaging a success for nutty campaign

Almond Board of California makes it easy for consumers to make healthier choice

Client: Almond Board of California (Modesto, California)
Agency: Porter Novelli (Los Angeles)
Campaign: 28 Days of Snack Swaps for Success
Duration: January 1- March 15
Budget: $60,000

The Almond Board of California has run awareness campaigns around National Almond Day (February 16) for more than a decade.

The organization and its long-time AOR Porter Novelli built this year’s campaign around easy ways to swap unhealthy snacks for nutritious snacks.

"Historically, we’ve worked a lot with registered dietitians, and we’ve funded 119 papers published in peer-reviewed nutritional journals," explains Molly Spence, director of North America, Almond Board of California. "We wanted to leverage our deep relationships with health professionals and engage consumers with the objective of conveying the nutrition and health benefits of almonds and providing craveable, inspirational snack ideas for almonds."  

Strategy
Keri Gans, a registered dietitians and author of The Small Change Diet who had worked with the team in the past, was hired to serve as spokesperson and help develop content that was used across the Almond Board’s owned digital channels and pitched to reporters and bloggers.

Content included snack images and 28 tips, two recipes, and a weeklong snack plan. Findings from research published in November 2014 in the European Journal of Nutrition that supports the nutritional benefits of almonds were woven into all messaging and helped gain media traction.

"Strong digital content is important for both direct consumer engagement and for media outreach, as outlets need daily content for their online outlets and social feeds," notes Meredith Petran, VP, consumer food and nutrition at Porter Novelli.

Tactics
A different snack image along with a healthy snacking tip was posted to the Almond Board’s Instagram feed every day in February. Regular posts on the Almond Board’s Facebook and Twitter pages promoted the Instagram posts.

Instagram followers who liked a campaign post were entered into a random drawing to win a "snack pack" that included a booklet with all of the snacking tips, the snack plan, recipes, and various almond products.

Gans promoted messaging and links to her Facebook and Twitter audiences.

Traditional media outlets covering women’s interest, lifestyle, and food were sent media kits that included everything in the "snack packs" given away to Instagram followers.

Gans gave media interviews through mid-March.

Food and nutrition bloggers who had worked with the Almond Board in the past were sent a "Happy National Almond Day" graphic image to share with their social media audiences. Select bloggers got the media kits as well.

The team also posted all of the content on a National Almond Day page on the Almond Board’s website.

Results
Campaign Instagram posts averaged 29 likes – nearly double average likes on other Almond Board posts.

Six hundred sixty-seven sweepstakes entries were garnered, up 455 for a similar giveaway in 2014 and well above the goal of 500 for this year.

Comparing February to January 2015, Instagram followers jumped 57.45% in and overall engagement increased 22%.

February traffic to Almonds.com was up 10% over January. 

This year’s campaign generated 36 earned stories (457 million impressions), compared to 32 stories in 2014 and 17 stories (89 million impressions) in 2013.

Outlets covering the story this year included US News and World Report, All You, Parade, Yahoo, The Active Times, Fitbie, Redbook, and Now.

Future
The team is preparing to launch a consumer program targeting men that will focus on ways in which almonds can help men meet and maintain fitness goals.

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