When we were asked to relaunch the iconic Sherbet Fountain we knew we were taking on a tough brief. The product is the stuff of childhood memories and any changes were bound to stir deep emotions with consumers. Astute media relations skills were the order of the day.
The brand relaunch involved the replacement of old packaging – the famous paper tube with protruding liquorice stick – with a new plastic tube with a tamper evident sleeve.
We recognised that changing such an iconic brand would cause consternation amongst many loyal consumers but also that to grab the headlines we needed consumer controversy to capture journalists’ attention. Using key contacts in the confectionery industry we leaked the pack redesign to The Independent and were rewarded with the story taking-up the whole of page three. As a result we were inundated with press calls and the resulting coverage was impressive with national newspapers and broadcasters covering the story.
Coverage was extensive and included the Today programme on Radio 4, BBC radios 1, 2 and 5 Live, The BBC1 Vanessa Feltz Show, BBC TV North West, Daily Mail, Daily Express, The Daily Star and The Times, plus numerous websites, regional radio stations and newspapers. All of this generated a PR value of nearly £500,000 and contributed to an increase in sales volume of 20%.