BC Blueberries – Fresh season consumer campaign

Brief

A long-term client of Fever Pitch, the British Columbia Blueberry Council is responsible for marketing all blueberries grown in the province, both the berries themselves and processed products. During the summer harvest season, running from late June to late September, Fever Pitch works with the council to reach consumers across Canada, primarily in the key markets of British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario. The goal is to inform consumers that Canadian-grown blueberries are now available in their market and getting them to purchase these over blueberries grown in other countries. A secondary goal is to increase consumption among those already purchasing BC-grown blueberries.

Strategy

Fever Pitch developed a summer campaign with the following strategies:

  • Recipe Development: We worked with a recipe developer to create five new recipes using fresh blueberries. These recipes both spoke to current food trends, as well as showing non-traditional ways to use blueberries (e.g. salads, a turkey burger) to increase consumption. The recipes were used on the council’s own website, shared through social media, in media releases, on printed recipe cards, and shared with promotional partners.
  • Media Relations: Along with regular news releases, many with recipes, we held media events in the three major markets of Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto. We also arranged a media drop in each city, with key outlets and freelancers receiving a flat of fresh blueberries and items made with BC blueberries. Desk-side meetings were also arranged, as were television segments with BCBC spokespeople.
  • Social Media: Focusing on Facebook, regular posts were supplemented with an advertising campaign to increase traffic to the website’s Recipes page.
  • Promotional Partnerships: Through Fever Pitch, the council entered into paid promotional partnerships with a grocery chain, a BC-based chain of produce markets, and a Vancouver restaurant specializing on locally-grown ingredients. Partnerships ranged from joint advertising campaigns to creating an in-store blueberry festival, through to the restaurant creating a full blueberry menu and offering their Chef to be one of our TV spokespeople.

Results

  • Over 80% of media receiving the media drop items and attending the events provided coverage ranging from social media to feature stories in national newspapers.
  • Over 105 individual earned media articles, posts and segments appeared in key publications across the country. Highlights included a cover story in Canadian Living, a feature in Walmart Live Better magazine, a food feature in the Toronto Sun which was then syndicated across Sun Media outlets, and a story on BC’s blueberry industry that appeared in the national Globe & Mail
  • We booked a total of nine earned television segments in key markets across Canada.
  • Facebook followers increased by more than 180%
  • Our grocery chain promotional partner reported a 40% increase in the volume of BC blueberries sold over the year prior. The produce market partner reported a 22% increase in volume sold.

Links

Pictures