Bringing online and offline worlds together

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“The Bags Fly Free” campaign invited consumers to share online what airline charges they expected ne
“The Bags Fly Free” campaign invited consumers to share online what airline charges they expected ne
Kraft recently launched one of its largest digital campaign efforts for its Philadelphia Cream Cheese brand. The campaign, which aimed to broaden the appeal of the food item, included a strong social media component but it also incorporated offline tactics, such as event marketing and advertising.

By combining various digital elements including online video, e-mail and banner ads with offline tactics, the company hopes to elevate its Internet marketing strategy in order to truly reach consumers where they are located – be it on a social network, in front of the TV or out grocery shopping.

While more and more online tools and communities emerge every day, marketers are finding that integrating offline and online tactics creates a more consistent marketing message but also achieves a better acquisition rate.

The Kraft “Real Women of Philadelphia” campaign launched in March with celebrity chef Paula Deen as the voice of a contest that encourages real life cooks to engage with the Philadelphia brand.

The campaign includes two parts: an online casting audition for cooks to show off their best Philadelphia Cream Cheese recipes by submitting their videos to www.PaulaDeen.com/RealWomen in April. This was followed by a competition in which 16 finalists competed in a live cook-off in Savannah, GA, in May.

“We've done digital in the past, but not quite like this,” says Adam Butler, senior associate brand manager at Kraft Foods. “The idea was how do we elevate our digital marketing and not just do banner ads and search, but build big platforms that can expand and continue to live online.”

Tip Box: Coordinating a
cross-channel approach

Coordinated and effective integration across an organization's marketing strategy is often considered the ultimate achievement. Here are a few tips for bringing this kind of thinking into your marketing program.

  • Use interactive features to speak to consumers across channels, such as encouraging social media followers to make use of an online coupon or printing online reviews for in-store signage.

“The Internet is an interactive medium, and we have the tools to reach out and talk to people on our website,” notes Adam Butler, senior associate brand manager at Kraft Foods. “You should make your creative campaign take advantage of these tools.”

  • Use out-of-home signage to build your e-mail and mobile list as Southwest Airlines did for a recent campaign, promoting its new destination of Panama City, FL.

Dana Williams, director of Southwest's marketing and communications, notes that using multiple touchpoints can also show you how a customer would like to be communicated with in the future.

  • Drive traffic to your offline events through social media

Kraft took a recent campaign 360 degrees when it leveraged social media to drive interest in a live cook-off competition that began with online video submissions.

  • Use popular search terms in e-mail subject lines

Lisa Hendrikson, VP, retention and customer experience at 1-800-Flowers.com, points out that you can take findings from one channel and apply them to another. If a keyword performs well in search, try testing it in an e-mail campaign.

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Later this summer, the four winning cooks will be named the “Real Women of Philadelphia,” which comes with a talent contract for $25,000. They'll also have the opportunity to host their own weekly online cooking show on www.PaulaDeen.com/RealWomen and be featured in a cookbook that highlights the community's favorite cream cheese recipes, which will be released in November.

Social entertainment agency Eqal created the campaign, and digital agency Digitas, DEI Worldwide, OgilvyAction and The KraftOne team also worked on various components of the campaign.

The team hopes an integrated campaign such as this will energize consumers to get involved with the brand. The public has submitted 5,500 videos so far, and the microsite has received more than half a million views, reports Eqal.

“If you can get these consumers to interact with the creative rather than just passively seeing a television commercial, you have a more engaged consumer,” says Greg Goodfried president of Eqal. “Word-of-mouth advertising is the most valuable advertising. We are tying to engage this community and encourage them to become the evangelists so that they are telling their peers.”

Butler adds that the brand hopes to build a new group of customers that it can continually market to in the future. It expects that Deen will help it to tap into her existing community. “We would really like to build a database of people that we can remarket to,” he adds.

Banner and TV ads and a YouTube homepage takeover are encouraging consumers

to participate. On the day of the takeover, the initial ad received 51 million hits. Deen also sends out her own tips and tricks, and weekly videos with recipes featuring the cream cheese, through her and Kraft's social networks.

Other integration models for the campaign include a social media component that will solicit consumers to sign up for Kraft's regular e-mail newsletters. Kraft also plans to begin a Philadelphia Cream Cheese-specific e-mail program that targets this database later this year.

For its Velveeta brand, Kraft also integrated social media — a tactic that is driving much of the company's future digital efforts, says Butler — with various digital channels to help expand its perception as an ingredient for any meal. The goal was to increase sales to women under 35 who were buying Velveeta around the holidays for one or two specific dishes, but did not consume it on a regular basis.

Kraft worked with its digital and PR agency Edelman to create a social media campaign called “Velveeta it!” that incorporated the voices of popular food bloggers, which it dubbed “Kitchenistas.” The bloggers posted daily recipes using Velveeta to their own blogs as well as the brand's social media pages and a dedicated campaign microsite. The five-week, $180,000-campaign, which ran from late September 2009 to the end of October, also used daily contests and sweepstakes to help build its customer list and increase engagement.

“The Kitchenistas program was about making personal connections with our consumer and giving her information about how to use Velveeta and the ability to connect with other Velveeta consumers,” says Sherina Smith, brand manager at Velveeta.

The chance to win a prize pack containing groceries and cooking tools encouraged consumers to share their own recipes and to comment on each others' recipes. The blogger audiences were also encouraged to become fans of the Velveeta Facebook page. Velveeta now has about 8,000 Facebook fans.

Velveeta is now remarketing to this audience and using this database to keep up an ongoing social marketing program, says Smith.

“The whole program is built around the idea of getting consumers to interact with the brand and the community,” adds Christine Beardsell, VP group creative director of Digitas. “We were regularly seeding the site with new and engaging content to give them a reason to keep coming back for more.”

For Kraft, it doesn't matter what kind of grocery product they are selling; online marketing will continue to play a big role.

“This is a strategic shift,” says Butler. “It is a challenge for Kraft to do digital bigger and better and think about growing and germinating digital communities online.”

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