CAMPAIGNS: Florette Salad Week boosts season sales - Consumer PR

Client: Florette PR Team: Clarion Communications Campaign: Launch of the first Florette's National Salad Week Timescale: April-July 2003 Budget: Understood to be five figures

As people's thoughts turn to lighter food during the summer, salad is a popular choice among consumers. But it doesn't tend to grab nationwide headlines. When salad brand Florette wanted to generate coverage to boost sales, a creative PR strategy was required.

Objectives

To gain mass consumer awareness of Florette-brand salad over the summer. To drive up sales of the products.

Strategy and Plan

Clarion Communications created Florette's National Salad Week, and celebrity chef Raymond Blanc was commissioned to create the world's most expensive salad, priced at £600. Titles with long lead times were invited to a demonstration well before Salad Week, which ran from 7 to 13 July, while national consumer journalists were presented with the salad to taste at an event at the Hempel Hotel, just before the week began.

High-circulation regional press, such as the Nottingham Evening Post and the Daily Echo in Bournemouth, were approached with a competition in which the prize was a meal created in the winner's home by a top chef.

One of the courses had to involve salad. Food writers were encouraged to prepare the Raymond Blanc salad - or a cheaper version of it - themselves.

Competitions also ran in the national media to win trips to the regions of the world where Florette ingredients are grown.

Clarion also ran an email competition involving 10,000 consumers, asking which celebrities over the age of 40 were still enjoying their 'salad days' - who looked the best for their age.

Artist Carsten Glock was then commissioned to create portraits of celebrities made entirely out of Florette salads, for an exclusive feature with the Daily Mail, which ran across a double page on the second day of Salad Week.

Measurement and Evaluation

National newspaper coverage ran to 11 features in nationals including The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mirror and the Daily Express.

Ten consumer magazines covered Salad Week, including Harpers & Queen, House Beautiful, Woman's Weekly and Family Circle.

Blanc appeared as a guest on five's Terry and Gaby, while Glock appeared on V Graham Norton and made salad portraits of Norton and his guests.

Florette commercial director Mark Newton was interviewed about the Blanc salad on TalkSport, and the chef appeared on LBC and Fox FM.

Results

Florette sales were 30 per cent higher than the previous summer. As a result, Salad Week will be held again next year. Clarion estimates the story reached 45 million consumers.

Daily Telegraph reporter Sean O'Neill said: 'It was an interesting piece for the paper, certainly because of Blanc and the £600 salad, which I remember was very nice.'

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