Thinking Outside the Lunchbox

Wholly Guacamole, America  ’s  top-selling brand of pre-made guacamole, was looking to spice things up like a  jalapeno pepper.

Last summer they sent “Boring  Lunch Survival Kits” to promote the brand’s 100-calorie snack packs as a  back-to-school lunch idea. “This was the first big event we’ve done  highlighting the snack packs,” which have been on the market for a couple of  years, says Jennifer Sawyer, Wholly Guacamole marketing manager. “We wanted to  refresh brand awareness for moms looking for alternatives for their kids’  lunches as an option for sneaking good food into kids’ bellies.”

The survival kits were meant  to highlight the versatility of the guacamole snack packs, which encourage  consumers to “Dip It, Top It, Spread It, Love It.” The packs freeze well,  defrost easily and are great as a spread on sandwiches or a dip with veggies and  chips, Sawyer explains.

Wholly Guacamole overnighted  about 500 metal retro lunchbox kits with cold packs to trade and consumer media  and bloggers. The back of the lunchbox was a dry-erase board, which contained  the message, “Out To Lunch, Be Back at _____________.” The lunchbox contained a  dry-erase marker, two varieties of 100-calorie snack packs, an avocado shaped  squeeze ball, branded chip clip and coupons.

The lunchbox theme was a  natural fit with lunch, says Sawyer. “We’re big believers in making an  immediate impact,” she says. “We have people that still talk about the  avocado-shaped coolers we sent out three years ago.”

An editor recently told  Sawyer that she keeps the cooler on her desk and decorates it with the seasons  and for holidays. “We wanted that kind of impact with the lunchbox. We hope  people will display it on a long-term basis,” she says.

Wholly Guacamole got great  feedback from the promotion. Some requested additional samples, and suggested  additional media and bloggers to send kits to. Bloggers posted pictures of the  lunchboxes on their sites, and Wholly Guacamole gave some away on Facebook. “Bloggers  are important in getting across our brand messages to moms,” says Sawyer.  “Prizes are important in delivering a brand message, and we take it seriously.  Promotional goods are way more strategic than some people give them credit for.  It’s about impact.

“We have been a leader in our  category for the past 10 years, and promotional products are tools that help  generate interest and create intrigue about our brand,” she adds. “It’s a way  to interrupt people in their day, and gives us 5, 10, 15 more minutes than we’d  get with conventional ads.”

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