Welch’s juices up brand marketing with digital effort

Concord, MA-based juice maker Welch’s only began using online advertising two years ago, but it has already more than tripled its initial spending, dropping $4 million  online last year. Its latest campaign, the “Real. Grape. Goodness” integrated effort, launched November 12 with TV, online and print components. Its aim is connecting with Gen X mothers.

“They are involved in all sorts of things,” Chris Heye, VP of marketing at Welch’s, said of the target audience. “They aren’t just watching TV; she is determining her brand choice for kids through a variety of different mediums.”

The campaign, which focuses on the personal stories of farmers who grow the grapes and own shares in the company, has a 30-second spot, Web site, videos and interactive community sites. Welch’s is marketing it through social media and banner ad buys.

“We want our brand to show up in a lot of different, meaningful ways to mothers deciding what juice to buy,” Heye said. He added that Welch’s partnerships with Scholastic on an initiative called “Harvest Grants” and its charitable “Harvest of Help” program also put the brand in front of educators and causes that are important to mothers.

“It’s a really busy world and there’s an incredibly high level of media choices; you have to work hard to break through with your message on their terms,” Heye said.

Welch’s is tracking sales goals from the integrated push. “Our main measure is purchase, but that’s hard to get at sometimes.” He explained the company tracks purchases through online coupon use and online grocery store purchases that take place following a site visit. However it also measures clicks and online testimonials as positive brand engagement when purchases take place offline without a coupon, he said.

Heye declined to name the agency Welch’s is working with on the effort.

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