Client:Event International (New York)
Client:Event International (New York)
PR Team: Teuwen One Image (New York)
Campaign: Promotion of The Chocolate Show
Time Frame: June to November 1999
Budget: Under dollars 100,000
Here’s one for the chocolate lovers.
The New York office of French company Event International had hired
Teuwen One Image in 1998 to introduce The Chocolate Show to the US
The company hired the marketing and PR agency again last year to help
promote the second event - a gathering of chocolate makers, sellers and
lovers, not to mention top pastry chefs and authors - held at the
Metropolitan Pavilion in Manhattan, November 26 to 29.
But Teuwen faced numerous challenges this year. The client was already
spending a considerable amount on organizing the chocolate extravaganza,
and, with the dollar strong against the French franc, the agency opted
against an advertising campaign. The exhibitors were skeptical, however,
about the effectiveness of a pure PR and marketing campaign.
Teuwen, based in New York, also had to reinforce the event as a
consumer-oriented festival rather than a trade show. And, the agency had
some concerns about the timing of the event: over the Thanksgiving
The target of the campaign was not driven purely by media relations;
creating awareness among the public was also a primary objective. Since
the agency had already launched the event the previous year, stage two
involved improving the show to reach new audiences.
In order to get maximum media exposure, Teuwen picked out certain
media-friendly chefs. The agency also encouraged exhibitors to make
their stands interactive with such fads as cooking demonstrations or
Instead of sending a media advisory, the agency pitched precise segment
ideas to show producers, including a chocolate fashion show. The firm
also kept all parties informed of what coverage was likely to appear
Teuwen sent invitations to the media, printed on thin slices of
The journalists were invited to a chocolate breakfast to film some
presentations in order to promote the event before it started.
The agency also struck a deal with Barnes & Noble, which agreed to give
out brochures offering a dollars 2 discount to the event. The bookstore
allowed the agency to design window displays in key locations to help
promote the show.
Moreover, the agency helped set up a children’s corner to increase
family appeal and gain wider coverage. Tickets to the show and
apprenticeships with celebrity chef Jacques Torres of top New York
restaurant Le Cirque 2000 were also offered as part of a PBS
A producer from BuenaVista Television saw the Barnes & Noble chocolate
display and inquired about the event, resulting in a filmed segment. The
Chocolate Show is likely to be featured on the Valentine’s Day edition
of new cooking program The Ainsley Harriott Show. The Chocolate Show was
mentioned or covered by 130 TV stations nationwide, compared with 70 the
previous year. CBS’s The Early Show recorded a piece about what your
taste in chocolate says about you. Other outlets covering the event
included CNN Headline News and Fox News. The Wall Street Journal’s
calendar section mentioned the event in a piece about what to do on
The lack of news over the holiday period also worked in favor of the
event. Martha Stewart Living magazine attended, along with food-oriented
titles such as Bon Appetit and Food Arts.
Xuan Trinh, US manager of client Event International, says the show
gained much more television coverage than expected, though overall press
coverage wasn’t quite what they had hoped for. The agency is still
waiting for some articles to appear.
Teuwen will promote the third year of the event in 2000. ’Next year’s
show will include more sponsors, and an advertising campaign is being
considered by the marketing firm to grow the event further,’ says Phil
Ruskin, the agency’s director of marketing.