Dreamfields Pasta leverages diabetes message

Dreamfields Pasta, which makes diabetes-friendly pasta, wanted to give consumers access to its advisory board of diabetes experts, says Mike Crowley, president of Dreamfields Pasta.

Client: Dreamfields Pasta (Minneapolis, MN)
Agency: M&P Food Communications (Chicago)
Campaign: “Diabetes 1.0 Live” Interactive Webcast
Duration: November 1, 2009 – January 30, 2010
Budget: $70,000

Dreamfields Pasta, which makes diabetes-friendly pasta, wanted to give consumers access to its advisory board of diabetes experts, says Mike Crowley, president of Dreamfields Pasta. To do that, AOR M&P Food Communications developed a live educational webcast that aired January 20.

“There's a lot of information and misinformation about how to deal with diabetes,” Crowley explains. “We have advisory board of three registered dietitians – two are also certified diabetes educators. Many consumers don't have access to that quality of input.” 

Strategy
The webcast included presentations by advisory board members and a Q&A. Celebrity spokesperson, diabetes patient, and The View cohost Sherri Shepherd also presented information. 

MultiVu hosted the live webcast, which was then posted to Dreamfields' website. Because education was the main objective, Dreamfields branding was minimal. Media and blogger relations, as well as social media and online forum outreach, drove awareness and participation.

Tactics
The team targeted diabetes-specific and general healthcare media, bloggers, and forums. It also spread word on Dreamfields' existing Facebook and Twitter pages.

In the webcast, each advisory board member talked about a different facet of diabetes management. A split screen allowed viewers to see corresponding PowerPoint slides. Shepard discussed her personal experience with diabetes. Liz Rytel-Mudroncik, M&P senior adviser, says each speaker “weaved Dreamfields messaging in lightly.”

Consumers were encouraged to send diabetes questions via e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter prior to the webcast. The team also took questions live.

Results
Crowley says February sales surpassed 1 million units for the first time since Dreamfields launched in 2004. “As of April, we saw a 31% increase in unit sales over a 52 week period,” he adds. “It's excellent.”

Crowley attributes the increases to PR and some advertising, noting that ads in general have been reduced in favor of PR and online outreach.

More than 2,500 people registered to see the webcast, and 422 viewed it live. Total views as of May 14 were 1,043.

More than 800 questions were submitted (including more than 300 during the webcast). All were answered either live or via e-mail. Crowley says the questions and answers will be built into Dreamfields' website.

The agency reports 400,000 mentions of the webcast on Twitter and Facebook from January 1 to February 11. Media impressions exceeded 12.3 million with coverage in outlets such as Yahoo, The Hollywood Reporter, and Minneapolis-St. Paul's Business Journal.

Future
The team recently completed a “Diabetes Friends Forever” campaign, and Crowley expects to develop additional webcasts with increased Q&A focus.

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