Because New Year's resolutions often involve health, the season presented Jennie-O Turkey Store (JOTS) and Burson-Marsteller with an opportunity to show how JOTS' turkey products are relevant to consumers looking for healthy alternatives. The challenge for the "New Year, New You" campaign was to stand out amid the diet coverage.
"[New Year's] is a time when people are looking for more answers and alternatives," says Cristofer Eide, director of retail marketing at JOTS. "We needed a way for people to be interested in what we have to say about our products."
JOTS' products had been used on NBC's The Biggest Loser for two seasons. The show's fitness trainer Kim Lyons was enlisted as spokesperson. The team felt her popularity would help spread its message. The show's season premiere also helped it gain momentum.
"Healthy diet choices is an old story in [the] new year [season]," says Chris George, MD of brand marketing practice at Burson. "[Kim] gave us the engine that allowed us to get attention in that challenging time period."
To bolster media interest, JOTS commissioned a survey to reveal popular New Year's resolutions and motivations behind them.
The effort kicked off with a Today show interview, where Lyons gave tips for healthy living and used survey results to back up the campaign. A media tour of more than 35 regional market broadcast morning shows followed. George says leading on the Today show helped stimulate a "cascade of media attention in other high-profile outlets."
The team created a booklet titled "Fresh Flavor: A Guide to Healthy Living in 2008" to broadly circulate Lyons' lifestyle tips, nutrition tips, and JOTS' recipes. It was made available online at http://www.jennieo.com/, and hard copies were distributed at health-related venues and events.
The campaign garnered more than 40 million media impressions, which Eide says was more than double the goal. "Our sales numbers are incredibly strong for products that aligned with this program," he adds. "[We saw a] double digit increase versus a year ago; certainly it's a combination of all [promotional efforts]."
In addition, more than 10,000 booklets were downloaded, and Eide says an additional 30,000 hard copies were distributed.
Besides the Today show spot and local NBC news affiliates, coverage of the campaign included the Los Angeles Times, The Detroit New, WUSN Radio Chicago, and the Danny Wright All Night national radio show.
Another program will be designed for next year, and Jennie-O will continue to work with Burson. Eide is not sure yet if the next effort will include Lyons.
This effort successfully over-came the challenge of rising above cluttered media space and putting a fresh spin on well-trod New Year's diet stories. The team was wise to enlist Lyons and bolster story appeal with survey data.
It was a sensible extension of existing relationships at an opportune time with a splash of new data. George attributes part of the success to harnessing Lyons' starpower and allowing her to deliver messages in a natural and logical way. This was a good example of how synergistic relationships can be used to attract media play in a crowded space.
PR team: Jennie-O Turkey Store (Willmar, MN) and Burson-Marsteller (Chicago and New York)
Campaign: New Year, New You
Duration: December 2007- March 2008
Budget: $250,000 to $275,000