Mayfield lets consumers decide fate of new flavors

As part of its Feature Flavor Program, Mayfield Dairy introduces new, limited-edition ice cream flavors each year.

As part of its Feature Flavor Program, Mayfield Dairy introduces new, limited-edition ice cream flavors each year.

In 2006, it wanted to develop a campaign that would help introduce four new flavors while strengthening brand loyalty among consumers in the Southeast and increasing sales. So it asked Waterhouse Public Relations and The Johnson Group ad agency to come up with a plan that would help meet its goals.

Strategy
They launched Flavor Decision '06, an integrated effort in which consumers were charged with democratically choosing which flavor would become a permanent brand. "Because 2006 was an election year, it set the stage for a campaign that was a light-hearted spoof on the political process," says Albert Waterhouse, president of Waterhouse. "Our strategy... was to reach consumers at a grassroots level and give them a personal stake in the Mayfield brand."
 
Tactics
The individual flavor launches were supported with news releases coinciding with national holidays. Mayfield executives then met with TV, radio, and print media in nine cities. More than 884 retail sampling events were held in grocery stores, giving consumers the chance to taste, vote for, and purchase their favorite candidate. Christian music artist Josh Bates and country music group Little Big Town campaigned for their favorite flavors. Mayfield utilized state and federal elections to generate buzz by setting up sampling events at election sites in eight cities.
 
Results
Nearly 350,000 people took part in sampling events, and more than 500,000 consumers voted. Feature Flavor sales increased 26% compared with 2005. The most popular flavor, Blueberry Cream Pie, averaged sales of 8,000 units per week.
 
Future
Mayfield will conduct sampling events at family-oriented festivals and retail locations in the Southeast.

PR team: Mayfield Dairy Farms (Athens, TN) and Waterhouse Public Relations (Chattanooga, TN)

Campaign: Flavor Decision '06

Duration: March to August 2006

Budget: Less than $350,000

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