Loblaw Companies Limited

President's Choice BBQ Town 2012

One of Canada's Biggest Brands Hosts the      Summer's Biggest Party

In summer 2012, Loblaws President's Choice hosted the PC BBQ Town contest. People were encouraged to nominate their communities and vote online in the hopes of winning the grand prize: a barbecue for over 5,000 people and free outdoor Hedley concert. Nine secondary prizes were awarded to communities, where President's Choice hosted a barbecue for up to 2,000 people.

The event drew in hundreds of nominations and thousands of fan votes, but ultimately the community from Chatham-Kent, Ontario came out on top.

About the Campaign

The campaign was introduced in a series of television commercials that aired on daytime television. In addition, President's Choice leveraged existing media vehicles such as Facebook, Twitter, and the PC website to direct people to the BBQ Town webpage and find out more about the event and featured summer PC products. Once communities were nominated, it was encouraged that people use social media to vote for their hometowns as hosts for the grand prize event. Television commercials and social media were used to promote this message.

Once the voting period was over, and the grand prize and secondary winners were announced, the President's Choice summer barbecue tour began. PC BBQ Town events were hosted in communities from coast-to-coast each week throughout the summer, with Chatham-Kent, Ontario being the final stop.

The final event featured free PC hamburgers, hot dogs, drinks, and desserts along with the headlining Hedley concert. In addition, the Chatham-Kent barbecue prided itself as holders of the Guinness World Record for the most hamburgers assembled in an hour.

As an attendee of the Chatham-Kent event, I witnessed first hand how well it was received by the community. Not only did people enjoy the music, but they loved the food, drinks, and overall experience in the events leading up to the concert.

Integration of PR & Marketing Communications

President's Choice used a variety of Public Relations activities to promote both the event and the PC brand. The marketing event gave attendees an experience that they will likely never forget. For President's Choice, that translates to stronger  recognition  and a positive association with the brand. Maya Angelou once said, “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” This is one benefits of event marketing over other public relations activities. Although attendees of the event might forget details of what happened, they'll remember the positive feelings associated with the event and its connection to President's Choice. As a result, when combined with other promotional activities, event marketing builds excitement around the brand and rewards loyal customers in a fun and exciting way.

In addition to paid PR and marketing activities, PC BBQ Town also caught the attention of local news stations. The news team came to the event to share the story with the community. Positive media coverage, as shown in the video below, can generate awareness and reenforce attitudes and beliefs towards the brand. Even more, media coverage in news reports are free, thus President's Choice is able to share their message and reach a larger audience than those who simply attended the event.

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