B&G attempts to make a lasting impression with Emeril's food line

B&G Foods, which owns 18 brands, including Cream of Wheat and Ortega, promoted the 10th anniversary of Emeril Lagasse's line of food products with a viral video campaign and contest intended to find the best Lagasse impersonator.

Company: B&G Foods
Campaign: Show Us Your Bam! Contest and Campaign
PR team: B&G Foods and Burke PR
Duration: June 16-August 15
Budget: Undisclosed

B&G Foods, which owns 18 brands, including Cream of Wheat and Ortega, promoted the 10th anniversary of Emeril Lagasse's line of food products with a viral video campaign and contest intended to find the best Lagasse impersonator.

The company worked with Kristi McCormick of the Matchbook Company and Brent Sterling Nemetz of Sterling Films to film unknown Lagasse impersonators and his celebrity friends – including Martha Stewart, Mia Hamm, and Regis Philbin – doing their best impressions.

Strategy
“We have not been advertising this brand on TV,” says Marvin Schwinder, director of marketing for B&G Foods. “We hadn't been online with Emeril in the past 12 months. We need to bring in another generation of users.”

In addition to celebrity videos, B&G Foods launched a contest where fans could submit videos of their own Lagasse impressions. It also offered free samples of Lagasse's signature spice, Emeril's Original Essence, to consumers who signed up online.

Tactics
The celebrity videos are up on YouTube and BestEmeril.com, where customers can also sign up to receive the free sample or submit their own videos. B&G worked with Jennifer Burke Labriola, president and founder of Burke PR, for media relations.

In addition to food industry trades and blogs, the team targeted marketing bloggers to spread the word about B&G and its efforts, she said. On the consumer side, the outreach targeted entertainment titles.

Results
Between June 16 and July 7, more than 137,000 consumers requested the free sample of Emeril's Original Essence and nearly 84,500 people viewed the celebrity videos on the sites.

Future
Schwinder says B&G Foods will most likely use digital campaigns in the future to promote Lagasse and its other products.

“We like the opportunity to build a database of people who are interested in Emeril's products and do more direct communication with them,” he says.

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