When Warschawski began working with MaggieMoo's, a chain of premium ice cream shops, instead of focusing on new and upcoming products, the agency opted to take a previously launched product and position it as the cutting edge of a new trend.
"MaggieMoo's ice cream cupcakes are an industry first, but we were concerned with how far we could take it since the product had been launched more than a year ago," explains Amy Christopher, Warschawski president. "Our challenge was to leverage this innovative product as a part of a newsworthy campaign."
"We used the news hook of the launch of MaggieMoo's new Zoomers line of low-fat smoothies and combined that with the ice cream cupcake and [decided] to target top-tier media across the US," says Christopher. The firm also worked with NexCen, which had recently acquired MaggieMoo's, on a business story pitch with NexCen CEO Robert D'Loren. "One of [his] key strengths is public speaking," says Jenn Johnston, NexCen QSR brand marketing VP.
The real selling point was getting journalists to taste the treats. "We were determined to facilitate product drops for any key media where we had secured interest," says Christopher. That could require near military-like precision. "With the Today show," she says, "you have to coordinate a hand delivery by calling 30 minutes ahead of time, then five minutes before, and then [make] sure it goes right into a freezer." The team also worked with local franchisees who hand-delivered products and did on-air demonstrations.
The effort secured nearly 300 placements with more than 85 million impressions. While it's still too early to gauge the business impact, the placements were included in a monthly e-newsletter sent to all MaggieMoo's outlets and provided evidence of NexCen's commitment to its franchisees.
NexCen and MaggieMoo's continue to work with Warschawski to build brand awareness.
PR team: MaggieMoo's Ice Cream and Treatery (Baltimore) and Warschawski (Baltimore)
Campaign: Zoomers/Ice Cream Cupcakes
Duration: April 15 to June 15, 2007
Budget: Less than $40,000