2010 Platinum PR Awards: Marketing Communications

Winner: Roll International – Wonderful Pistachios: From FDA Recall to Unprecedented Sales in Eight

In March 2009, the FDA issued a precautionary pistachio nut recall, prompting a 60% sales plummet for Paramount Farms’ Wonderful Pistachios despite no reported illnesses. Roll International and Paramount Farms launched a campaign to mitigate the crisis. PistachioRecall.org launched within 72 hours and offered an up-to-date list of safe pistachio brands. The company also deployed a sales force of more than 150 people to meet with retailers and provide pertinent information.

Recognizing the threat as an opportunity for growth, the “Get-Crackin’” promotion was launched in October to encourage to Americans to resume eating pistachios. The campaign spared no medium, ranging from television and online advertising to traditional and social media relations. Pop culture personalities like Olympic swimmer Dara Torres and others starred in humorous pistachio commercials during high-rating shows, including Monday Night Football and The Office. The GetCrackin.com site featured behind-the-scenes videos of the commercials, a Pac-Man inspired “Crackman” game, an iPhone app, and a YouTube video contest challenging consumers to create humorous videos about cracking open pistachios, while sponsorships for the LA Dodgers and LA Marathon Kids broadcasted tailored messages on healthy snacking. Consumers showed their instilled confidence with an 85% year-over-year increase in Paramount Farms sales and a 223% increase in Wonderful Pistachio sales.

Honorable Mentions:
Brushfire Inc – The Jersey Shore Store: To remind residents of the New York metro area of the affordable getaway options and local flare of the real Jersey Shore, Brushfire Inc. and the New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism brought the experience of a day at the beach to the heart of Manhattan with The Jersey Shore Store, complete with a boardwalk, beach grass and authentic sand. The store successfully promoted localized travel and raised positive awareness of the Jersey Shore in a struggling economy.  
Hilton Hotels and Resorts with Covalent Logic – Hilton Brand Takes Off With Up in the Air Film Partnership: Through a partnership with the film Up in the Air, Hilton Hotels not only got the ultimate endorsement—George Clooney as a business traveler on a Hilton Serenity bed in a signature Hilton robe—but also capitalized on Hollywood’s sizzle for maximum exposure by hosting private screenings around the globe, promoting a sweepstakes to “live the life of a global traveler” through micro-sites, social media channels and an email campaign distributed to more than 4,000,000 Hilton HHonors members.

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