The Launch of IronKids Crustless Bread
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report
CEO

The Launch of IronKids Crustless Bread

For years, kids have asked their moms to cut the crust off of their bread when making sandwiches. In Spring 2002, the Sara Lee Bakery Group created a solution for moms and developed the greatest thing since sliced bread…crustless bread!

Paul Holmes

For years, kids have asked their moms to cut the crust off of their bread when making sandwiches. In Spring 2002, the Sara Lee Bakery Group created a solution for moms and developed the greatest thing since sliced bread…crustless bread! Sara Lee relied solely on public relations for the first three months of the launch and challenged Alan Taylor Communications (ATC) with creating a media buzz around the new product in an effort to reach consumers as well as retailers who had not yet stocked the product on shelves.
 The PR campaign faced several challenges: Full system-wide distribution of IronKids Crustless Bread would not be reached until July 1; there would be no advertising support was given during the first three months of the launch; and the team needed to dispel the myth that the crust is the most nutritious part of a slice of bread.
 ATC conducted research using Lexis/Nexis, the Internet and the media to identify challenges and opportunities that would need to be addressed with a product introduction of this magnitude. The agency commissioned a third party Ipsos-Reid survey asking parents across the country their thoughts on crust. The research showed that nearly 40% of moms cut the crust off their kid’s bread.
In planning for the launch, the agency executed several key tactics including, commissioning the Ipsos-Reid national survey, shooting video of the entire baking and distribution process so television outlets would be serviced properly, creating a special kit which would create some excitement when it arrived on the desks of editorial decision makers, conducting media training with the company spokespeople in all 30 key markets and preparing all press materials and message points.
There were three main objectives:
· To generate consumer and trade publicity surrounding the product launch
· To drive consumer traffic to retail to purchase the product
· To provide the client and their sales team with an extra marketing tool to encourage retailers to offer up shelf space for the new product
ATC recognized that IronKids Crustless Bread was a natural attention grabber; however Sara Lee was relying solely on public relations to launch their most innovative product in decades. Without any advertising support, the strategy behind the launch was to maximize the media coverage on a national print and broadcast, generate incremental coverage in key IronKids markets and package the results so they could be merchandized with key retailers.
Full system-wide distribution of IronKids Crustless Bread would not be reached until July 1, so it was important to create a demand for the product ahead of time, making consumers ask for the product before they were able to get it. For a messaging standpoint, the strategy was not only to convey the uniqueness of the product to consumers, but also the nutritional attributes of the product.
With the client planning on unveiling the product at the annual food product’s show, FMI, on May 4, ATC offered USA Today the national print exclusive to run on Thursday, May 2. The exclusive was to create a media buzz around the new product just in time for the nation’s largest food marketer’s show. The morning the USA Today story appeared, ATC hand delivered a video news release to all the national network news feeds, CNN and national network programs.
Simultaneously, ATC offered the story to the Associated Press and Reuters. The national media effort was rounded out at the FMI Show where ATC brought national media outlets together with spokespersons for the new product.
Following the FMI Show, ATC drove deeper into 30 key IronKids markets. The goal was to generate at least one story on every major media outlet in the market. In order to accomplish that, the agency delivered special IronKids Crustless kits, which included the bread, peanut butter and jelly and an IronKids lunch box to the media along with the press materials and the video news release.
The agency also leveraged the appearance of two PT Cruisers, branded with IronKids Crustless Bread logos, in each market. The Cruisers visited high profile events in each city and were stationed at supermarkets in each location offering samples of the product. The crews were utilized for local media interviews in each city to talk about the product.
Once the media coverage was generated, ATC created a fast moving video, which captured in three minutes that IronKids Crustless Bread was covered by media nationwide. The video was delivered to members of the sales force who in turn presented it to their buyers at key retail outlets.
The IronKids Crustless Bread campaign met each of its objectives and generated extensive media coverage resulting in more than 225 million media impression.
In total, more than 600 television placements were generated included national outlets such as CNN, CNN Headline News, NBC Network News, ABC National News and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Locally, multiple stories were generated in all 30 key IronKids markets. More than 300 print placements were generated including stories in USA Today, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Associated Press, and Reuters as well as in every daily newspaper in each of the 30 key IronKids markets and each of the all-important trade publications.
Without any advertising for the first three months of the launch, public relations was the only communications strategy being used to drive consumers to purchase the brand new product. By the end of the three-month public relations kick-off campaign, more than 150,000 units of IronKids Crustless Bread was being sold weekly.
Throughout the launch, the agency created a compilation of media hits, which the sales force, used to pitch key buyers at major retailers. The sales force was able to provide their potential retailers with real supporting material on why they should make room for IronKids Crustless Bread on the shelf. Shelf space for IronKids Crustless Bread increased incrementally throughout the entire distribution system by the culmination of the three-month campaign.
View Style:

Load 3 More
comments powered by Disqus