Dancing Deer builds buzz with best brownie

Dancing Deer Baking Company and AOR Warner Communications launched a campaign last summer focused on its brownies that extended through the holiday gift-giving season.

Client: Dancing Deer Baking Company (Boston, MA)
Agency: Warner Communications (Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA)
Campaign: America's Best Tasting Brownie
Duration: July - December 2011
Budget: $50,000

Dancing Deer Baking Company products are sold nationally in specialty grocery stores and packaged gift sets are sold on DancingDeer.com. The company and AOR Warner Communications launched a campaign last summer focused on its brownies that extended through the holiday gift-giving season.

“USA Today named our chocolate chunk brownie the best tasting brownie four or five years ago,” says director of marketing Laura Stanton. “We wanted to validate that claim and drive awareness in both channels of distribution.”

A national consumer survey and blind taste test event in Boston affirmed the best taste claim. Free samples given away online helped spread the word, as did media and blogger relations, and social media outreach.

About 1,300 consumers were surveyed via email in mid-September. Those who had tasted Dancing Deer chocolate chunk brownies compared the taste with box mix brownies and brownies from a supermarket chain bakery. Agency VP Erin Vadala says 86.4% thought Dancing Deer brownies tasted best.

A blind taste test using the same three brownie categories as the survey followed at Boston's City Hall Plaza on September 30. Vadala says participants chose Dancing Deer 2:1.

Survey and taste-test results were pitched to general consumer media, gift-giving outlets, grocery trades, and bloggers covering food, green living, and family categories. Results were also posted on Dancing Deer's Facebook page and retail groceries' social media properties.

A free sample of six brownies, available through the website, was touted in PR messaging and in newspaper insert ads in Boston and New York markets.

Select bloggers reviewed gift products and offered giveaways to their readers who found information on Dancing Deer's website or Facebook page.

The team landed coverage on “Good Morning America” during a pre-Thanksgiving “Deals & Steals” segment and developed special offers for the show's viewers.

LinkedIn was used to promote corporate gift giving.

Stanton says overall 2011 sales increased compared to 2010, and the campaign drove 70% of the volume of new customers for the holidays.

“Of the people who came to get the free brownies and the ‘Good Morning America' offers, 91% were new to Dancing Deer, and 20% returned and made a second purchase,” she adds.

More than 300 people took the taste test.

More than 5,000 samples were given away.

Coverage included 256 stories and blog posts (416,927,900 impressions) in outlets such as Reader's Digest, Real Simple, People, Woman's World, Huffington Post, and CNBC.com.

Plans are in the works for the 2012 holiday season, including promoting upcoming product launches.

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