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Kraft - Maxwell House Firehouse Makeovers Contest - Multi-City
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Kraft - Maxwell House Firehouse Makeovers Contest - Multi-City

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Kraft wanted a "feel-good" publicity campaign for Maxwell House coffee in its top markets. Drawing from the brand's popular "Our House" firehouse TV commercials we created a firehouse makeover......

Kraft wanted a "feel-good" publicity campaign for Maxwell House coffee in its top markets. Drawing from the brand's popular "Our House" firehouse TV commercials we created a firehouse makeover competition that generated significant, positive, branded broadcast, print and social publicity in three waves over three months. Great community engagement only firefighters can inspire.

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  • 1. PR inbriefMaxwell HouseConsumer PR Campaign Maxwell House is America’s leading brand of home-brewed coffee. It competes head-to-head with several other popular brands.Kraft Foods hired ouragency to create a To some extent premium coffee is viewed as a commodity.goodwill publicitycampaign for its Maxwell Nonetheless consumer preferences are greatly influenced byHouse brand in 10 key brand image.U.S. markets: Maxwell House ‘s wholesome image is closely associated withAtlanta; Baltimore; Buffalo;Cleveland; Cincinnati; home, community and sharing. This has been reinforced byDetroit; Orlando; decades of advertising.Philadelphia; Tampa;Washington, DCOur total budget was$500,000 and we had sixmonths to complete theprogram.
  • 2. PR inbriefCreative ApproachOur mandate was to create aPR campaign that drew fromthe brand’s successful “OurHouse” TV commercial In researching firefighters we learned that in urban areas manyfeaturing firemen gathered at work at firehouses that are in shockingly poor condition. Firea firehouse. departments spend their budget on equipment, not comfort. Who knew that so many local heroes lived half their lives at blighted fire stations with relic appliances and cast-off furniture? So we devised a photo-essay competition and invited local firefighters to pitch their firehouse as the one most in need of a $10,000 spruce-up. Click image at right to view TV commercial *this PowerPoint slide must be viewed in Slideshow
  • 3. PR inbriefStrategy/TacticsPitting firefighters in friendlycompetition for a firehousemakeover had terrific publicand media appeal.Finalists’ photo-essays wereposted on our micro-site wherewinners were decided by Outreach Contest Rules Winnerspopular vote.Voting was driven by publicity, We secured approval Submissions were One winner per-cityvirally and word-of-mouth. from municipal fire chiefs limited to active received a $10,000 to solicit entries from firehouse personnel cash prize andFirefighters and their local fire companies professional designsupporters campaigned for Requirement: 250-word help Fire stations within the photo essay explainingvotes virally. Room makeovers media market (a 25-mile need for a makeover radius of city center) had to be completedLocal media were allowed to were invited to participate Campaign’s judge within six weeks ofcover the story from inside the . named two firehouse awardfirehouses before, during and semi-finalists in eachafter the makeovers. market Winners agreed to . participate in press coverage
  • 4. PR inbriefPartnersWe secured HGTV as ourmedia partner, whichenhanced the campaign andextended its reach.We secured help from localarchitects and interior The makeovers were handled by HGTV provided Kristin Cunningham,designers, all of whom host of Design on a Dime, to serve local professionals who completeddonated their services. as campaign spokesperson. the work on time, on budget and to professional standards. Kristin announced the contest with a 20-city satellite media tour funded by 100% of the $10,000 cash prize was HGTV. used for materials and construction. Kristin judged the entries and All designers more than doubled the consulted with winners. purchasing value of the cash prize by sourcing free or deeply discounted HGTV.com promoted the contest and materials and services. linked back to the voting pages on our Maxwell House site.
  • 5. PR inbriefExecution Feb Mar/Apr May June/JulyTo maximize our publicitywindow this campaign wasexecuted in four phases. Phase Phase Phase Phase I II III IV Announce Contest Announce Finalists Announce Winners Reveal Makeovers Entry solicitation Judges reviewed 80 Local TV, radio, Maxwell House hosted submissions and print and web an open house 18-city SMT picked 20 semi- media named the breakfasts where finalists, two-per winning firehouse makeovers were Generated buzz market and then followed revealed to the press with local the makeovers as and community. publicity and Local media covered they progressed. stories in the the contest and . firefighter’s trade urged the community media to view the finalist essays online and vote. Firefighters engaged family and friends in viral voting drives
  • 6. PR inbrief HighlightsEach makeover was an amazing Ten Firehouse Spruce-upsbefore/after transformation. The dank cellar at a Chicago fire station Atlanta Kitchen was reclaimed as aFirefighters were incredibly Baltimore Kitchen lounge.enthusiastic about their prize Buffalo Tool/Repair Room Cleveland Kitchenand this was apparent in the Chicago Loungemedia’s coverage. Detroit Bunkroom In seven cities Orlando Kitchen professional kitchen Philadelphia Kitchen contractors did wondersOur open house press event Tampa Kitchen with the prize moneyhad clout with elected officials, Washington Kitchen supplemented byfire chiefs, professional generous productathletes, and other VIPs in donations.attendance.In each phase Maxwell House An architectural firm in The dreary bunkroom atopwas integral to the story, so Buffalo brought style and a century-old Detroitpublicity was always branded. order to a disorganized firehouse was rebuilt for repair shop using privacy and comfort. industrial cabinets, counters, lighting and flooring.
  • 7. PR inbriefResults This campaign generated extraordinarily positive SMT HGTV’s 18-city SMT with Kristin Cunningham and support on its website publicity coverage for Maxwell House: TV Network affiliates and local cable – multiple segments – all markets Radio Local news and talk radio – multiple mentions – all markets Print Daily and weekly newspaper features - multiple stories – all markets Web 80,000 unique votes cast on the Maxwell House website; coverage on community websites; viral buzz as firefighters sought votes Click left to view sample publicity clip Click left to view sample viral publicity
  • 8. Social Media Maxwell House’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram Publicity materials would be optimized for community-building andToday social media would play a much for search engines promotion. Links push traffic tobigger role in this campaign. Here’s website for voting andhow we might approach it: promotional offers.Publicity copy and content would beoptimized for search. Firefighters would campaign forSocial media would link to a hub using a votes using various socialmulti-media microsite tools, such as Twitter, SMS, IM, and email, bookmarks. Hyperlinks and ‘share’ widgetsA mix of social channels would share Microsite for viewing would drive voters to voting onupdates, talk and photo/video posts. photo essays and the micro-page voting. Voters wouldOff/online publicity, brand websites, viral/ be linked back toword-of-mouth buzz, etc. would drive Facebook andtraffic to the voting site. Twitter for updates and brand Integrating brand and community promotions. social networks would driveSocial/digital platforms would be used for Publicity links from offline andbrand promotion by driving traffic to traffic to website hub for online media would push trafficonline coupons and recipes. promotional content.. to the website for promotional content and voting. Content and publicity materials would be optimized for search.
  • 9. PR inbriefPerspective EXPERIENCE & SKILLS Gerry Casanova Rubenstein Associates, NY Creative development PR strategy & tactical executionBiggest ChallengeVery tight budget and timeframe. Our Team supervision – I led a four-person account team and reported to threeaccount team had to work fast and client-side managerssmart. Partner solicitation, contracts and distance productionPR BonusFirefighters are part of a large extended Writing; editingcommunity, providing a big viral boostas they campaigned for votes. Media relations – local media and HGTV partnershipAdded Value. Events managementProfessional services could havedepleted each of the $10,000 makeover Digital mediabudgets. Bartering publicity for localdesign services was a huge win-win. BudgetPR 101This campaign offered all the elementsfor media coverage: local humaninterest and a compelling visual storyeveryone can relate to. The web gavethe campaign greater reach and socialengagement.
  • 10. PR inbriefPerspective EXPERIENCE & SKILLS Gerry Casanova Rubenstein Associates, NY Creative development PR strategy & tactical executionBiggest ChallengeVery tight budget and timeframe. Our Team supervision – I led a four-person account team and reported to threeaccount team had to work fast and client-side managerssmart. Partner solicitation, contracts and distance productionPR BonusFirefighters are part of a large extended Writing; editingcommunity, providing a big viral boostas they campaigned for votes. Media relations – local media and HGTV partnershipAdded Value. Events managementProfessional services could havedepleted each of the $10,000 makeover Digital mediabudgets. Bartering publicity for localdesign services was a huge win-win. BudgetPR 101This campaign offered all the elementsfor media coverage: local humaninterest and a compelling visual storyeveryone can relate to. The web gavethe campaign greater reach and socialengagement.