MCG scores PR points for Weight Watchers meals
Our client Greencore is one of the major licence holders for the Weight Watchers brand, producing a wide range of nutritionally balanced, low calorie foods including chilled prepared meals, pies and quiches. Starting with a press office launch event in July 2009 MCG was tasked with creating a media relations campaign that would shift perceptions of Weight Watchers meals and help the business, which is primarily geared around own label production, to maximise the potential of its key licensing deal.
We had a number of objectives at the outset of the campaign. We were asked to capture the attention of food, diet and women's media and encourage them to try Weight Watchers meals with the eventual aim of achieving positive reviews in the target media. Key messages included:
- Communicate the genuine food values of the range and measure changes in perception amongst key media.
- Position Weight Watchers meals as a healthy, satisfying alternative to other prepared meals and convenience foods.
Greencore also wanted Weight Watchers PR to show how media relations could support the development of licenced brands within the business and help pave the way for new product innovation.
At the outset we undertook a thorough audit of initial media perceptions and participated in consumer focus groups and Weight Watchers meetings to gain a full understanding of the brand and its environment. This informed the key messages we identified for all PR material. For example, we talk about 'eating sensibly' and 'watching what you eat' rather than being on a diet as a result of research findings that show that many consumers are turned off by the idea of a diet.
We held a launch event for media and trade buyers to kick-start the campaign and address misconceptions using recipe cards and demonstrations from the Weight Watchers Michelin-trained development chef to highlight the food values of the range.
We operate a press office and sample service from our London office enabling journalists to receive chilled samples within 24 hours of request. We also regularly run desk drop days and have developed techniques to deliver oven-baked hot food to journalists at their desks to create the ideal sampling opportunity. This means that journalists taste the products then and there, rather than putting them in the fridge and forgetting about them. We have worked with Greencore to create limited edition meals to help meet long-lead time media requirement for new product months in advance of it appearing in-store.
- Greencore was awarded Supplier of the Year at Weight Watchers annual conference for commercial delivery – PR played a significant role in the success.
- Journalist feedback has led to certain products being re-formulated before being re-sampled by our media contacts for their assessment. These products are now on-shelf and have been well received by consumers.
- Our hot lunch desk drops have been welcomed by journalists and have resulted in a significant uplift in media coverage. On average, one in three of the people we visit goes on to review the product or include it in a feature.
- A number of products have received awards from key titles including The Star, Rosemary Conley Magazine and Cook Vegetarian.
- In a media audit the majority of key contacts said that their perceptions of the range had changed for the better.
- Coverage mentioning key messages such as taste credentials, Michelin trained chef, healthy recipes has been achieved consistently in Weight Watchers target media.
- Over the twelve month period from July 2009 we have delivered a return on investment of 9 to 1 AVE.
- The audience reach of coverage is almost 32 million so far (OTS).
- We have achieved coverage in all top 20 women's and health and fitness media targets.
Get in touch
If you would like to find out more about MCG or would like to talk to us about a project, please call Christine Mortimer on 0113 307 0113 or email email@example.com.