Mark Wahlberg's Marked product launch
Edelman (PR); Mullen (creative and digital); Branding Brand (mobile commerce)
Tom Dowd, EVP, chief merchandising officer, and GM; Jeff Hennion, EVP, chief marketing officer, and ecommerce; Jennifer Brinker, VP of marketing
$1 million to $2 million
GNC kicked off a campaign in July to promote a new line of nutrition products that were conceptualized and developed in partnership with actor and long-time GNC customer, Mark Wahlberg.
The Marked line, available in GNC stores in mid- to late summer, includes seven products, such as protein powders and vita-packs, says Jeff Hennion, EVP, and CMO of GNC.
"Mark is well-known for his rigorous discipline, living a healthy life, and staying in great shape," he explains. "He's used our products, so we put him together with our science team and developed formulas that we think will be industry leading."
The products are being promoted in a variety of ways, but the main objective for the campaign is getting them into consumers' hands, says Hennion. "Given the fact we are as much a CPG company as a retailer right now, we are well aware that the focus is getting products in people's hands and generating buzz that the product works and tastes great," he adds.
Edelman, GNC's AOR, is helping the company with grassroots efforts, including street teams, seeding initiatives, and tastings to get the word out about Marked.
In addition to events, some of which include appearances by Wahlberg, Jennifer Pfahler, EVP at Edelman, says the agency is reaching out to bloggers and giving them Marked samples to create chatter online.
"Our goal is to help people realize that getting 'Marked' is part of living well," she says, "which is what the GNC brand is all about."
Wahlberg is expected to tweet about the products from his own Twitter handle, and he is planning a live webcast with consumers to talk one on one about Marked.
Also, since a portion of the money from each product goes to the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation, she adds that the campaign "ladders to the higher purpose of helping others live well above and beyond yourself."