Almond Board of California shows consumers how to crunch the afternoon crash

Actress Anna Camp and celebrity fitness guru Jen Widerstrom helped the Almond Board encourage consumers to avoid the mid-afternoon crash with the help of a snack like almonds.

Company: Almond Board of California
Campaign: Carpe PM
Agency mix: Porter Novelli (PR, strategy, content, execution), Above Average (video production)
Duration: December 2016 – September 2017
Budget: Approximately $500,000 for PR and content creation

Almonds can be used to fight off an afternoon energy crash. That’s the message the Almond Board of California has been trying to spread with its Carpe PM campaign.

The campaign began with the Almond Board conducting nationwide research in fall 2016. In a survey of 3,544 U.S.-based adults, it was revealed that a high prevalence of snacking particularly occurred between lunch and dinner. Additionally, nearly 75% of survey respondents said they experienced at least a weekly lull in afternoon energy.

The Almond Board, with help from PR agency partner Porter Novelli, leveraged the research and consumer insights to create a campaign called Carpe PM that encouraged consumers to avoid the mid-afternoon crash with the help of a snack like almonds.

"We approached our campaign from a content marketing approach," Becky Jeffers, manager of North America marketing for Almond Board of California. "Our overall strategic direction was to offer engaging, fun, and relevant informational content about snacking on almonds leading up to that time when people were on the verge of an energy crash."

The PR team looked to use several influencers who could act as a spokespeople during the campaign. The organization's target audience includes people aged 25-54 across the U.S. who are busy and snack regularly to stay energized throughout the day.

The board developed a microsite to serve as the primary hub for campaign content. The hashtag #CarpePM would be used to further social interaction.

"We really relied on social media to further the content strategy that we had," explained Jeffers. "The microsite is where we wanted to get people and we employed a paid, shared, and owned model through our own accounts and through our spokespeople."

In December 2016, the board tapped Dawn Jackson-Blatner, a registered dietitian nutritionist, to help convey the cause of the mid-afternoon crash, leverage the survey results, and share some almond snack recipes to kick off the campaign.

Early in 2017, the board partnered with celebrity fitness guru Jen Widerstrom to act as a spokesperson for the campaign. The board began creating and launching social and digital content featuring Widerstrom, including an Instagram takeover.

"[Widerstrom] for us really epitomized the coaching aspect and, in terms of creating content, someone we thought could be engaging and call attention to the crash," said Jeffers.

On January 18, the campaign team organized a media day for health-related publications to interview Widerstrom. Participants included Woman's Day, Parade, and Parents. Dr. Oz also interviewed her.

On January 24, the board also launched a social contest called "Crunch the Crash." The winner got to spend the day and have dinner with Widerstrom.

In April, the board released a PSA video featuring True Blood and Mad Men actress Anna Camp, to humorously convey the consequences of being unprepared for the afternoon crash. The video was produced by Above Average.

From May until September, the board continued to share content through social and the microsite, including short-form videos, nutrition and wellness tips, and snack recipes made with almonds.

The Carpe PM campaign generated more than 700 media placements. Some notable outlets that featured the campaign were: Cosmopolitan, Dr. Oz The Good Life, Parade, Delish, MindBodyGreen, NewBeauty, Muscle & Fitness Hers, Glamour, Shape, PopSugar, Lifescript, Yahoo, AOL, and Fox News.

The takeover by Widerstrom on the Almond Board’s Instagram account garnered more than 20,000 views.

There were more than 12 million engagements on social for the Carpe PM campaign, measured through clicks-throughs, likes, shares and retweets, including #CarpePM, spokespeople, and Almond Board posts.

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