Judge Us by the Companies We Keep
Read below to learn how we’ve helped some of the world’s best-known brands navigate the communications landscape.
Perdue: Industry Leader in Animal Welfare
Perdue, the nation’s third largest poultry producer, was eager to publicly announce its industry-first Commitments to Animal care initiative, developed in response to Perdue’s increased knowledge of more holistic animal husbandry practices, coupled with rising consumer demand for ethically sourced food.
Understanding the profound impact a system-wide change from a major company would have on the industry, GIBBS-rbb led an aggressive media relations campaign to position Perdue as a progressive leader in animal welfare.
Campaign strategies included:
- Inserting Perdue’s Commitments to Animal Care into the bigger food movement narrative to establish a leadership role in responsible food and agriculture
- Capitalizing on Perdue’s successful No Antibiotics Ever journey
- Engaging a wide array of stakeholders (from within and outside the company) to help tell the story
- Securing advance stories with key national outlets to ensure media coverage on the announcement date, despite any unforeseen competition with breaking news
Launching against the odds – the campaign had only three weeks lead time and the announcement was made at the height of breaking stories on Brexit – the results were record-breaking with a total of 1.8 billion print and online media impressions and over 700,000 TV and radio broadcast impressions. In total, the campaign generated 560 online and print articles and 152 broadcast airings in/on outlets including: The New York Times, The Washington Post, Associated Press, National Geographic, Fortune, Wired, Nation’s Restaurant News, Bloomberg, AgDay and NPR. Additionally, the overall sentiment of the stories was largely positive to neutral and Perdue reported a number of consumer calls thanking them for their efforts and pledging to buy their products.
UTZ: Spreading Sustainability to the United States
UTZ is the largest program for sustainable farming of coffee, tea and cocoa in the world. The UTZ program supports ethical agricultural practices, farm management, social and living conditions, and the environment.
While the UTZ certified label can be found on over 20,000 different products across 135 countries, they suffered from low recognition and adoption in the United States. With a major U.S. expansion on their horizon, UTZ enlisted Gibbs-rbb to develop a digital communications and outreach strategy to resonate with the U.S. audience.
Using proprietary consumer research, advanced digital listening tools, and community trend analysis, Gibbs-rbb constructed a multi-phased outreach plan that worked to increase awareness and recognition amongst sustainability opinion leaders and decision makers in the U.S.
Some of the key components that informed UTZ’s strategy were:
- Brand buzz analysis for UTZ and its key competitors
- Conversation monitoring around key sustainability issues
- Sentiment and topical trend analysis
- Social media and blog content review
- Target outreach list compilation
- Customized digital and on-site event activation plans
Our communications and outreach plan has effectively generated targeted awareness amongst key audience segments, and extended sustainability practices to the US through initiating meaningful one-to-one conversations with key decisions makers and sustainability advocates of major US brands and organizations.
Flexible Packaging Association: Bringing Value to Brand Owners
The Flexible Packaging Association helps its members (primarily packaging suppliers) effectively communicate the benefits of flexible packaging to food and consumer packaged goods brand owners.
To gain insight into brand owner and consumer perceptions of flexible packaging, Gibbs-rbb initiated a Brand Value Study that incorporated findings from three sources – a brand owner survey conducted with a leading packaging trade media outlet, an online survey of consumers by Harris Poll and a telephone survey of FPA members by Gibbs-rbb.
Gibbs-rbb analyzed and synthesized the study findings to showcase the results, which showed:
- Brand owners can strategically match flexible packaging attributes with product attributes to fit their brand value proposition.
- Many brand owners agree that flexible packaging for food enhances their brand image, extends shelf life and reduces costs.
- Consumers are seeking the convenience provided by resealable and single-serve flexible packaging features that fit their on-the-go lifestyles.
- Consumers are willing to pay a higher price premium for packaging that provides functional benefits like the ability to reseal and ability to extend product life.
Gibbs-rbb generated feature article placement about the research findings in several key trade media outlets that reach brand owners and other packaging professionals. Gibbs-rbb also created an e-book and infographic that are helping FPA members communicate data and insights about the brand value benefits of flexible packaging directly with their customers. Member feedback has been very positive, and they have confirmed they are using the materials as a credible resource to encourage brand owners to transition more products to flexible packaging.
Duncan Hines: Building Marketshare and Revenue
When Duncan Hines launched Frosting Creations, rbb was on hand to deliver a delicious media and direct-to-consumer PR campaign that would make Frosting Creations the #1 selling frosting for Easter in just six weeks.
We used creative media pitch efforts and direct-to-consumer promotions including VIB (Very Important Baker) sample deliveries and held 1,000 Frosting House Parties nationwide to help increase fan engagement. rbb’s efforts yielded 70% more incremental frosting sales to the Duncan Hines brand within the timeframe and 32% more new customers to the overall frosting category.
Vlasic Farmer’s Garden Fresh Consumer Engagement
To launch Vlasic’s new farm fresh, all-natural offering, rbb needed to leverage the consumer desire for healthy, fresh and convenient food, while driving visibility through traditional media, social media and a strategic partnership. Media first received a product delivery in old-fashioned crates reminiscent of a delivery directly from the farm.
The product was officially launched with an event in New York City hosting the nation’s most influential food bloggers for tastings, pairings and pickling instruction from our Vlasic chef. Visibility continued with blogger partnerships and the building of urban gardens in partnership with the National Gardening Association.
rbb achieved 176 million impressions with coverage in grocery trades like the Supermarket Guru and national consumer outlets like the Today Show, Hungry Girl blog and Rachael Ray Magazine. These results helped double the product’s retail outlets as well as set the stage for expanded product offerings.
Nature Works – Packaging From Nature
NatureWorks introduced the world’s first corn-based polymer as a more sustainable alternative, but PET and PP, the incumbent materials for making plastic cups, food containers and eating utensils, were cheap commodities that dominated the market and provided consistent performance. G&S developed a campaign that positioned NatureWorks PLA as a simple way for organizations to improve their environmental footprint and reputation without compromising price and performance.
The communications were focused on government leaders, brands that embraced sustainability, and non-governmental organizations interested in the environment. Our news campaign targeted business, retail, food, grocery, packaging, branding and agricultural trade media. The results were mainstream coverage in major business and consumer media and retail co-promotions with Wal-Mart, Whole Foods and others. Immediately following the campaign, demand outstripped early manufacturing capacity.
The Syngenta AgriEdge Excelsior Program: Buy-in at the Start of the Supply Chain
With as much as 80 percent of a food product’s environmental footprint occurring on the farm, companies are asking farmers to produce sustainability metrics.
To help growers meet these demands, Syngenta, one of the world’s largest agriculture companies, incorporated Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture metrics into a crop management program. The program provides a platform for growers to track, measure and record their inputs for food processors.
Syngenta’s challenge was recruiting growers into its unique sustainable sourcing programs, validating the value of these platforms that offer profitable whole-farm management information and meet sustainability reporting requirements of food manufacturers.
G&S helped create a strategic communications campaign that appealed to the pragmatic sense of growers to bolster program involvement and acceptance of the Field to Market protocols.
Flagler Global Logistics: Pulling Back The Curtain For Media
Flagler Global Logistics had a well-known name in real estate, but was a newcomer in the logistics business as it opened its South Florida Logistics Center. We developed an artful brand positioning that celebrated the company’s history dating back to railroad pioneer Henry Flagler while explaining the relevance of the new foray into logistics.
We peeled back the curtain for media, inviting them behind the scenes to see blueberries arriving from Chili on their way to local supermarkets. We painted the picture of the new perishables trade route Flagler Global Logistics was creating from South America, taking market share away from the Northeast and literally eliminating one more link in the supply chain. We demonstrated the consumer benefit simply: Why go north to come south? The South Florida Logistics Center saves days and dollars for exporters, and the result is fresher produce for consumers.
In one year, our savvy messaging and story crafting resulted in nearly 100 placements and 20 million impressions in key national trades and front page stories. Business at the Center is booming with two new buildings currently under construction.
Heartland Payment Systems – Standing Out at National Restaurant Association Show
G&S helped Heartland launch its small business payment systems and technology offerings with a one-two punch at the NRA show. Combining pre-show outreach to pique media interest with an at-show technology panel discussion G&S helped ensure Heartland maximized its exposure via trade media and social sharing.