Quality Institute taps Golin in drive to build awareness

SAN FRANCISCO: Having a hard time deciding which brand of waffle or beer is the very best? Quality Institute International (QII) wants to make consumers' lives easier when faced with such decisions.

SAN FRANCISCO: Having a hard time deciding which brand of waffle or beer is the very best? Quality Institute International (QII) wants to make consumers' lives easier when faced with such decisions.

So QII has picked Golin/Harris International as its first AOR to increase consumer awareness of its independent judging panels that bestow gold medals to the very best of the best in food products. Under the parentage of QII, The American Tasting Institute judges food products, while the American Culinary Institute judges food-preparation products and gadgets. Companies use the institute's gold-medal logo on their packaging.

"We want people to look for that gold medal," said institute CMO Julie Hagler. "People are very busy, and don't have time to research what products are best. We want to help them break through the clutter, whether they are looking for organic, mainstream, or gourmet products."

As consumers' time has grown tighter, the institute's need for PR has grown stronger, said Hagler. The institute previously used trade shows and press releases about product winners to promote the institute. But with Golin, the institute wants to make sure that consumers - and the food industry - look for that gold medal and equate it with quality.

"If a customer is looking at 25 spaghetti sauces, we want consumers to feel confident that they can trust the institute to judge the best of the best," said Tim Johnson, MD of Golin's

San Francisco office. "It's about helping consumers simplify their decisions."

Golin will launch an aggressive media relations campaign to educate both consumers and the food industry about the institute, and why each should look for the institute's label.

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