The Ohio franchises of the Panera Bread company partnered with Freestore Foodbank to provide frozen turkeys to needy families during Thanksgiving.
After the company renamed and rebranded the annual turkey drive to increase community impact, it hired RMD Advertising to help get the media's attention of its philanthropy and encourage customers to donate frozen turkeys for a coupon in return.
The goals of the campaign included increasing participation in the turkey drive and reinforcing Panera's commitment to the community. The promotional strategy was also developed around increasing corporate sponsorships.
The campaign used stunt marketing, like inviting local celebrities to participate in "chain of giving" events, partnering with local TV and radio media to broadcast live from the events, and holding corporate check presentations during live remote times.
The team enlisted media sponsors to promote the event on their Web sites and introduce political figures at events. Events were publicized through the Ohio Newswire. The team developed a Web site to help customers and donators find the nearest Panera to them and better understand the causes the drive supported.
"Through the campaign's success, we were able to donate over 500 frozen turkeys to people in need," says Judy Ketner-Dollison, marketing director at Panera. The effort garnered more than 2 million impressions.
The campaign was covered by many outlets, including the Cincinnati Enquirer. The event was also covered by all local NBC, ABC, FOX, and CBS TV stations in the Columbus, Cincinnati, and Dayton, OH areas.
Panera plans to hold the turkey drive again next year with RMD Advertising.
PR team: Panera Bread's Ohio franchises and RMD Advertising (Columbus, OH)
Campaign: Great Panera Turkey Drive
Duration: October 1, 2007-November 25, 2007