In January 2011, Pinkberry, the No. 1 tart frozen yogurt brand, challenged Ronstadt & Associates to spread the news to consumers about its new Valentine’s Day Swirly Grams. A Swirly Gram is a gift of Pinkberry frozen yogurt or a Pinkberry gift card beautifully wrapped, decorated with balloons, and hand-delivered to the home or office. Since it was a one-of-a-kind product, Pinkberry had high expectations for the team and wanted consumers to recognize the Swirly Gram as the hottest gift for Valentine’s Day 2011.
With Valentine’s Day less than a month away, Ronstadt & Associates accepted Pinkberry’s challenge and started formulating our PR strategy immediately. The team created a PR plan focusing onnational, New York and Los Angeles media including broadcast, print and online outlets. Understanding that the best way to explain the Swirly Gram is to actually see one and taste one, the team conducted extensive media outreach to offer samples, as well as giveaways. The team coordinated deliveries to more than 40 members of the press including Rachael Ray, Ellen DeGeneres, Ryan Seacrest and Wendy Williams. This sampling program created a buzz and helped motivate editors and producers to write positive reviews about their fun experiences with Swirly Gram deliveries.
The second portion of the PR plan was conducting celebrity sampling. The team started by compiling a list of celebrities and media personalities who were Pinkberry fans and offered them a Swirly Gram delivery on Valentine’s Day. Several celebrities were excited by the prospect of having Pinkberry delivered to their home or office. Some even requested samples delivered to their loved ones. With celebrities having a big followings on Facebook and Twitter, the PR team hoped that if the stars liked their Swirly Grams, they wouldshare this news with their fans. The team would also be able to pass along those tweets or images to the celebrity media.
Generating more than 100 stories and 300 million impressions, the Pinkberry Swirly Gram PR campaign numbers were impressive. The team secured many online placements including USA Today, About.com, The Nest, People, Us Weekly, CosmoGirl, Extra TV, Twist, New York Family, Bop & Tiger Beat, Orange County Register, Women’s Health, and Betty Confidential. Several editors used social media outlets such as Twitter or Facebook to share the news and photos including media personality Kym Douglas, food expert Hungry Girl, national Us Weekly and Popstar Magazine. TV segments included KCAL-TV (Los Angeles), XETV (San Diego), WPIX-TV (New York) and others. Radio stations also covered the news— KIIS-FM, with Ryan Seacrest in L.A. and Star 94.1, with AJ in the Mornings in San Diego.
Ronstadt & Associates PR worked closely with a NY-based talent manager to coordinate celebrity product seeding with Isaac Mizrahi, Kim Kardashian, Justin Bieber, Jennifer Lopez, Fergie, Mariah Carey, Natalie Portman, Khloe Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Kyle Richards, Lisa Vanderpump, Adrienne Maloof and others. The celebrity sampling resulted in positive PR results including Tweets from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and anarticle in UsWeekly.com on how Kim Kardashian gifted a Swirly Gram to her sisters for Valentine’s Day.