The summer is traditionally a slower time for Garrett Popcorn Shops, a Chicago-based popcorn company, when many consumers look for a cool treat or refreshment.
To build awareness of its flagship store in New York City and help boost summer sales, the company turned to Bullfrog & Baum (B&B) to tie the brand to a relevant trend in the culinary world.
The PR team's main goal was to make Garrett's NYC store a tourist attraction, says Clark Nesselrodt, VP of consumer products at B&B. “We needed to put [Garrett] on that list, a must-do New York experience.”
It brought in Top Chef runner-up Richard Blais as a spokesperson, who was famous for using liquid nitrogen when cooking on the Bravo show. He created the frozen popcornsicle for Garrett, which Nesselrodt says helped with the goal of a new recipe that was “visually compelling” and would help in broadcast coverage.
To promote Blais, the popcornsicles, and Garrett, the team planned a week of events, contacted local newspapers, and put out calendar listings. Garrett also dispatched street teams to primary tourist destinations near the store, including Times Square.
It also landed Blais an appearance on Today – a huge placement for the company.
More than 5,000 new patrons came into the store the week of the event and it served almost 10,000 popcornsicles, Nesselrodt says. The company's Web site also saw an increase in hits, he adds.
Jack Aiello, SVP at Garrett, notes that the company “saw a surge right after the event” in customers.
The fall and winter seasons are strong for Garrett, Aiello says, so the company is going back to the drawing board to build more ideas for the spring and summer.
PR team: Garrett Popcorn Shops (Chicago) and Bullfrog & Baum (New York)
Campaign: Frozen Popcornsicles in the Summertime
Duration: April-August 2008