alPunto Advertising won the pitch for Blue Ribbon in summer of 2008 and turned a small, “value-branded” product into the third largest rice brand in the U.S. by 2010.
Services:TV, Radio, OOH, Print, Digital, Social
Challenge:To overcome the category leader (Mahatma) who had been marketing heavily to Hispanics for years and we were battling a strong and growing Private Label segment.
Solution:Launched a bilingual website with product information, recipes, kid’s games, health tips and downloads. New design packaging of long grain, medium grain, parboiled and brown rice products helped make the brand stand out more at retail, to rejuvenate the brand look, to add bilingual copy and to “color code” the different rice products. Our 360° media approach used Elva Saray from Estrella TV as the celebrity Blue Ribbon spokesperson- helping in connecting with Latina consumers and added a familiar face to a new product. Using a a“lifestyle component” and a relevant theme (“Entre Amigas”) to our advertising efforts, we sponsored relevant media events (World Cup, Premios de la Radio) and developed TV vignettes that dealt with exercise, reading, being a mom, working, etc. We added a partnership with musical group Los Horoscopos de Durango as a way to increase brand recognition – we used the band in multiple medias and developed a Blue Ribbon jingle that was played as a radio spot and could be downloaded from the Blue Ribbon website. We also extended our efforts into social media by adding Facebook, YouTube and Twitter elements to our efforts. Our media buys saw an average added value of 38% in bonus spots, free media, mentions and sponsorships. We added in-store elements via retailer screens and floor decals in key Hispanic retailers.
Results:Unaided brand awareness for Blue Ribbon grew by 63% while Mahatma decreased by 13%. Last 52 weeks rice consumption was up 5.3% while Blue Ribbon sales were up 19.4% (366 index to category). Blue Ribbon share increased from 2.9% in 2008 to 7.8% in 2010. Blue Ribbon rice was the only top-ten brand to experience volume and dollar growth in the last year. Blue Ribbon had the highest velocity among top-ten brands. With just 15% ACV distribution, Blue Ribbon has become the third largest brand in the US. Los Angeles alone accounted for one-third of Blue Ribbon volume.