Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Campus Buzz

Agency: Alcone Marketing Group
Client: Häagen-Dazs

Häagen-Dazs maintains a highly-loyal but aging consumer following, and the brand is seen as less approachable and youthful than key-competitor Ben & Jerry’s, especially to college students, who are heavy ice cream consumers and seen as future brand advocates.

In looking at the college market, Alcone Marketing Group determined that the audience responds positively to brands that support causes they identify with. This insight drove them to recommend leveraging Häagen-Dazs’ “Help the Honey Bees” campaign. The honey bee program included research funding at agricultural colleges, which provided a tie-in with college students.

The campaign, “Imagine a World Without Bees,” consisted of a teaser campaign followed by a mix of on-campus media and experiential marketing designed to get students “buzzing” about Häagen-Dazs, including print ads in college newspapers, something never previously allowed.

They created a fake newspaper front page and removed every instance of the letter “B.” The reverse side featured a full-color ad that explained why the letter B was missing – calling attention to the honey bee crisis that could greatly impact the world’s natural food supply, including all-natural ingredients found in 50 percent of Häagen-Dazs flavors. The ad included a call to action to purchase Häagen-Dazs on campus, and, for every purchase, a bee-friendly flower would be planted in the Campus Buzzway, a half-acre site located adjacent to the Häagen-Dazs Honeybee Haven demonstration garden at University of California, Davis.

Campus messaging reinforced the campaign and drove students to a promotional microsite to help determine which flower mix would be planted. At sampling events, campus ambassadors wearing the catch phrase “Help Bees Get Busy” distributed samples and backpack buttons. Other support included retail merchandising, dorm room door hangers, table tents, wild postings, campus posters and coffee sleeves.

The program generated over 2 million media impressions, including in both The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, and more than 23,000 samples were distributed. Most importantly, 9,000 square feet of the winning flower mix – the Queen Bee blend – will be planted at the Campus Buzzway.