Bob Evans Farms (BEF), a leading producer and distributor of refrigerated breakfast and dinner convenience food items, retained The Pollack Group (TPG) in 2016, initially to leverage the brand's philanthropic "Our Farm Salutes" (OFS) campaign, which entailed providing meals and donations to programs that support the military, active-duty veterans, and their families. In addition, TPG secured a partnership with The Gary Sinise Foundation, producing a variety of Public Service Announcements (PSAs) featuring actor, activist, and director of the Foundation, Gary Sinise.
In support of OFS, TPG conceived the idea to paint the original Bob Evans Farms barn, an iconic symbol in Rio Grande, Ohio – purple, representing the color of all military branches. The purple barn visual, attracted significant media attention from regional news, military media, and food trade outlets. Results from data indicated an uptick in favorability perceptions for the BEF brand.
Following the media success of OFS, BEF expanded the program in 2021, utilizing TPG for its Heroes to CEOs (H2C) program. TPG focused on the H2C’s 2021 and 2022 winners to garner regional and national media relations. The agency booked The Today Show in November 2021, highlighting Ryan Onda, winner of H2C, among numerous podcast interviews, local segment appearances, and more. In addition, TPG penned a MAT release on how military service prepares veterans for leadership business roles, which resulted in over 180 million impressions.
The OFS program laid the groundwork for a broader FY22 Breakfast Innovations public relations campaign. TPG leveraged editorial media interviews to encourage Life Hackers and Young Achievers to try BEF new breakfast solutions and encourage repeat purchases of BEF grocery food items. Creative concepts were crafted and implemented for BEF news hook creation, disruptive event(s), and strategic influencer partnerships.
TPG also developed and implemented an “always on” PR plan that increased household penetration for BEF grocery items. To further engage with consumers interested in BEF refrigerated breakfast items, TPG conducted a survey that polled over 1,000 working Americans to better understand their breakfast preferences, before and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings were favorable to BEF and the success of their heat-and-eat products were distributed in a MAT release, securing over one million impressions.
TPG arranged for BEF and the Gary Sinise Foundation to join forces again, released a series of new PSAs, and offered Gary Sinise as a source on various national news segments. Sinise detailed the hardships veterans have as they acclimatize back into civilian life after service, and how the Gary Sinise Foundation, as well as BEF, were working to improve their conditions upon returning home. In addition, Gary Sinise was invited to speak on top-tier media outlets such as FOX News, MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Yahoo Finance, and KTLA.
TPG played an integral role in increasing BEF’s overall brand awareness and household penetration by leveraging elevated earned media impressions, resulting in an ROI of 2.40 for BEF’s Q1 and Q2 in 2022 alone, as well as a netted a $1.79 contribution per dollar spent on PR efforts.