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
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.
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 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."
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
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.