A new Perdue Farms effort is demonstrating that branded entertainment -- most often associated with national scale -- can be employed on a local level to connect cost-effectively with targeted audiences and support retail partners.
Perdue's first foray into local branded entertainment, created and implemented with New York-headquartered advertising agency RJ Palmer, focused on a local tie-in with one of the brand's key, ongoing causes, breast cancer-fighting organization Susan G. Komen for the Cure. (Perdue has contributed more than $275,000 to the national organization over the past two years.)
The brand worked with Boston CBS TV affiliate WBZ to create a video segment for local half-hour lifestyle show "What's In Store," which aired on Channel 38 in prime time on Sept. 8 and also following the late news on WBZ on Sept. 11.
The segment, designed to help publicize the annual Susan G. Komen Massachusetts Race for The Cure on Sept. 25 in Boston, as well as build awareness and usage for Perdue Perfect Portions, features volunteers from the national organization's state affiliate talking about why they volunteer and how Perfect Portions help to simplify their busy lives.
The segment also shows them using the product and regional ingredients like maple syrup and cranberries to prepare a recipe that was created specifically for the Boston area by Perdue executive chef Chris Moyer (grilled orange glazed chicken breast topped with a cranberry relish).
These women -- who have families and jobs and still manage to volunteer -- "personify" the busy moms for whom the boneless, individually packaged Perfect Portions product was created, points out Perdue Senior Marketing Manager Bobby Joe Walters.
The recipe area on Perdue's site has seen a notable bump in use -- particularly among the 25- to-54-year-old women who comprise the product's core target audience/user base -- since the segment aired on TV and the video, along with a link into the special recipe housed on Perdue's site, was posted on Sept. 8 on the "What's in Store" area of WBZ's site, according to Frances Page, VP, director of entertainment media for RJ Palmer.
In addition, Perdue's sales team has had enthusiastic response to the effort from retailers in the region, who appreciate the media support and targeted outreach to local consumers, she says.
Purdue, whose retail products are sold in the Eastern half of the U.S., is "very happy" with results thus far, confirms RJ Palmer CEO Peter Knobloch, who adds that local branded entertainment concepts are very likely to be employed in other Perdue markets going forward, with elements such as social media likely to be added to the mix along the way.
Page -- whose professional background includes media planning/buying and branded entertainment production/development for clients including American Express, Coca-Cola, Kellogg's, Campbell Soup, Johnson & Johnson and Pizza Hut -- sees growing opportunities in regional branded entertainment for many types of products and services.
Local TV affiliates' now-sophisticated production capabilities enable high-quality executions, and these marketing programs allow a brand to speak "very directly, and in a very relevant way" to local audiences, as well as to provide targeted support for retail partners in a region, she points out.
Like national executions, local branded entertainment efforts demand meticulous coordination, the executives note. For example, in addition to working closely with the national Komen organization and the state affiliate, Perdue and Palmer recruited an extra volunteer mom for their segment taping, knowing that unanticipated events might crop up in these busy women's lives. That forethought paid off: Despite two last-minute child-care and medical emergency situations, the taping went off as planned, reports Page.