Controlling social media, Magnolia Ice Cream rebrands by putting flavor and fun first
It wasn’t a smartphone or a tablet, it wasn’t a new game or even a new technology but Magnolia Ice Cream and their PR Firm, Christie Communications, reminded me of exactly what it takes to win over social-media.
When it comes to PR it seems at times that nothing can beat the power of Facebook Friends and Twitter Followers. It’s a constant and endless task to stay on top of the trends and encourage press to recognize your client’s work. Brands will pay thousands of dollars to have professional teams take over their social-media presence, their branding and their marketing. All of this is done in an effort to reach more consumers and build a better relationship with editors.
[frame src=”http://25o2zicw5jz372nu42fxtly6.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Magnolia-Event-03.jpg” link=”” target=”_self” width=”300″ height=”200″ alt=”” align=”right” prettyphoto=”false”]That’s the case even when your client is selling delicious and inventive ice-cream. Magnolia, and their parent company Ramar Foods, was set to launch the rebranding of their uniquely-flavored frozen-treats, and they held an event in New York city to celebrate it. The catchline was ‘We Want to Spoon You’ and it was already hit with our offices here in NY when we learned about the details for the event.
Magnolia could have rented out any restaurant they wanted to, it could have been pompous and ornate, with tiny silver dishes and golden spoons to try each flavor. There could have been AR codes on each ice-cream box, and a constant pressure to share the event on social-media sites. The ice-cream manufacture has been around for over 40 years, and they are more than capable of impressing the press with fancy dinners or lavish events. Instead the company threw a small-scale “beach party” and invited social-media experts, food critics and members of the press to stop by the West Village and load up on ice cream. It was one of the few events that I’ve seen that everyone was actually having a great time. The low-key atmosphere and terrific staff from both Magnolia and Christie Comm. encouraged everyone to just relax and mingle with everyone who was busy stuffing their faces with new ice-cream flavors. This was no common variety either, there were flavors like ‘Thai Chi’, ‘Coconut’, ‘Avocado and Purple Yam’ and many more. All of them unique and served from extremely helpful and knowledgable staff members.
[frame src=”http://25o2zicw5jz372nu42fxtly6.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Magnolia-Event-02.jpg” link=”” target=”_self” width=”300″ height=”265″ alt=”” align=”left” prettyphoto=”false”]This led to dozens of editors, critics, bloggers and more sharing their thoughts and pictures online through their own social-media outlets. This is common for any event, but what made Magnolia’s gathering special was just how genuinely happy everyone was to be there. People weren’t taking pictures of the event-space, the decorations, the fancy gift-bags or the table-settings like other press-events I’ve been to, they were all talking of one thing. The crazy and terrific ice-cream that they were eating stole the show. You don’t have to be in the frozen-treat market to know that was the goal of the event. I’m assuming the event was a giant success, judging by other’s reaction’s online and by talking to others that attended the event.
It’s a constant reminder of the core principle behind today’s social-media. That even though technology allows brands to reach millions of potential customers, it’s the people behind the brand that have to connect to them. Magnolia created an event that was both fun, entertaining and informative. The teams behind the event fully expresses the creative and laid-back atmosphere that their product encourages. Something that would be crucial for a brand with ice cream flavors that are made with “premium all natural cowabunga” as read on the Mango Flavor’s packaging.
If you haven’t checked them out yet, they are of course well covered in social media, which I’ve listed below. If you haven’t tried them yet then Coconut and Thai Chi are definitely my two choices to recommend.
more info: magnolia-fb, magnolia-twitter