Del Monte Experiments With Content Marketing

delmonteA Del Monte Foods content marketing campaign that ran through the Thanksgiving holiday put green bean casseroles on more tables, and achieved consumer interaction rates 220% higher than the benchmark industry average of 30.72%. Each piece of content meant to give consumers information to design a stress-free Thanksgiving meal.

It's not often consumer product goods companies run content marketing campaigns. This one proved successful, per Virginia Moon, associate brand manager at Del Monte. "Our green bean casserole just doesn't call for Del Monte green beans, but it also calls for French's fried onion rings and Campbell's mushroom soup," Moon said. "It worked out well. We would do it again."

CPG marketers need to communicate positive, clear and effective marketing messages. The message also must align with the behaviors and attitudes of consumers. A content strategy means knowing the consumers and what they are about.



The content marketing campaign, although digitally focused, tied into search engine marketing, mobile social, and television spots. It capitalized on cross-selling products and interesting cooking tips tha consumers might use for holiday dinners. Within the Popsugar content hub, consumers could find various recipes that call for Del Monte specific ingredients such as cheddar corn casserole, which calls for Del Monte can corn, said Cindy Ransier, director at Starcom USA.

Starcom USA spearheaded the campaign, partnering with Vibrant Media to create content and run the ads across its network. The content garnered an average dwell time of about 153% above the industry average of 14.7 seconds, showing that viewers were interested in the articles and the content serving up in the ad unit.

Del Monte ran seasonal content for audiences through Vibrant Media's network. Content included Healthy Twists on a Holiday Classic and Top Ten Tips for Smart Holiday Entertaining, with an original green bean casserole recipe developed exclusively for Del Monte. A hub was created on Popsugar to support the campaign.

Carla Henderson, VP at Vibrant Media, worked with Starcom. Vibrant created additional content for the ad unit. It lived on its network of more than 6,000 sites. When articles related to Thanksgiving were published on Popsugar, and someone scrolled over a related word or image in an article, the ad unit would expand to take over the page with recipes or top tips.

Visitors to the site did not just engage with the content on the publisher's site, but clicked through to the custom hub created by Popsugar to explore and search through the content. The campaign ran from Nov. 3, through Dec. 2.

The brand also created data-driven stories for mass media coverage by partnering with PR Hacker, an agency that specializes in story-based data-driven content. For this part of the campaign, Del Monte asked 1,500 Americans to "go green bean" and rate their thoughts for the classic green-bean casserole side dish. The result: The first annual Del Monte Green Bean Index, a ranking of the top 25 U.S. states with the highest concentration of green-bean casserole lovers for the holidays. 

The index was covered on more than 100 media outlets like Bloomberg and Yahoo Travel, and dozens of local TV news stations, garnering an estimated 80 million total audience in less than two weeks. 

4 comments about "Del Monte Experiments With Content Marketing".
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  1. John Grono from GAP Research, January 19, 2015 at 6:29 p.m.

    Can someone please explain what a "consumer interaction rate" is? If its "benchmark industry average" is 30.72% and this product achieved "220% higher" than that benchmark then it's done very well as it's achieved a 98.30% "consumer interaction rate". I wonder who the 1.7% of consumers who didn't interact were, and why, as it seems like virtually everyone else did. Or just maybe ...

  2. Brian Fanslau from YouBrandInc, January 19, 2015 at 7:17 p.m.

    The idea of placing quality content onto the labeling of your quality product should be nothing new. I'm really glad to see a great real world example of Content Marketing in action. I hope to continue to see such great "Bonus" value become a normal thing. Heck a company could even go so far as to print off customer recipes and print them on their cans as a way of socially sharing the recipes that have been shared with the company itself already by devoted lovers of XYZ product.

  3. Carla Henderson from Vibrant Media, January 20, 2015 at 12:24 p.m.

    John, thanks for catching this. The interaction rate for this campaign was 30.72%, which is 220% higher than the IAB industry average for full-screen rising star units of 9.6%.

  4. John Grono from GAP Research, January 20, 2015 at 5:02 p.m.

    Thanks Carla. We've now solved the maths issue, but what is the 'interaction rate' actually measuring. It seems like it is measuring click rates on the pop-up. Also, the duration of 14.7 seconds - was that the campaign's average duration or is that the industry average? That is, did you get 14.7 seconds and the industry average is 5.8 seconds, or is the industry average 14.7 seconds and you got 37.2 seconds.

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