Bolthouse Farms rewards people on Instagram for spreading the word about the brand’s ‘roots’
Though it has been around for nearly a century, bottled juice maker Bolthouse Farms doesn’t have the marketing budgets to match Coca-Cola-owned Odwalla or Pepsi-owned Naked Juice. So it was a big deal for the company when in mid October it launched its first major consumer advertising campaign, focused on beverages, seeking to set its brand apart by driving awareness of the fact that Bolthouse owns the farms that produce its carrot juice.
When considering which media channels would be most effective to spread the word, Bolthouse director of brand engagement Pamela Naumes says the company just kept coming back to Instagram. Bolthouse is using out-of-home media in the Chicago, Miami and San Francisco markets, but Naumes explains, “We really believe in the power of digital and social, and more specifically Instagram, to tell our story.”
One reason: Bolthouse, which grows and distributes carrots in addition to salad dressing and a range of bottled beverages, was impressed that over 16,000 images had already been uploaded to Instagram with the hashtag #bolthousefarms, without any prompting from the brand.
So it decided to tap into that behavior, encouraging users to take photos of Bolthouse related imagery—billboards, bottles in the grocery store—and upload them to instagram with the hashtags #carrotfarmers and #gotcoupon. In exchange, Instagrammers are rewarded with $1.50 off a Bolthouse beverage.
It works like this: Once an image with the two hashtags is verified as related to Bolthouse, the @bolthousefarms account comments on the user’s image with a link that they can type into an Internet browser to print a coupon or send to their email account.
The campaign has been such a hit that Naumes says the number of #carrotfarmers images is on track to surpass the number of #bolthousefarms images soon. But Bolthouse is also focused on how the campaign is driving awareness and trial of their products.
In addition to the number of photos posted each week, Bolthouse measures the earned impressions it receives from images that reach the followers of the users who post them. And of course Bolthouse monitors how many people actually print and redeem the coupons. “The majority of Instagrammers uploading images are also printing the coupon,” reports Naumes.
Bolthouse plans to keep the program going, including kicking off a second phase of promotion to support it. And while the Instagram campaign is generating immediate business results, Bolthouse is delighted that it also supports their “farm fresh” branding. Says Naumes, “The beauty of the hashtag is that it reinforces that we are carrot farmers.”