Mum's campaign boosts Griffin's coffers
Wed, 25 Jul 2012 1:02p.m.
Amber Johnson, the 35-year-old Upper Hutt mum who instigated the return of Griffin's Choco-ade, swears the biscuit maker played a genuine role in her grassroots campaign and not that of an "Astroturf" marketer.
Mrs Johnson started the "Get Griffins to bring back Choco-ade" Facebook page in June 2011 because husband Karl had a craving for the biscuit which went out of production over 20 years.
The page received more than 500 "likes" before Griffin's NZ contacted her and climbed on board, launching a wider campaign to support bringing back the biscuit.
Astroturfing is marketing that's designed to give the appearance of grassroots appeal and support.
"Griffin's aren't stupid - they have done their homework on this," Tom Agee, senior marketing lecturer at Auckland University's Business School told BusinessDesk.
"It gives them something to hook a campaign into so they can say it was brought back by your demand...
"They will probably sell a lot of biscuits thanks to this woman."
The strategy is working so far.
Griffin's NZ marketing director Josette Prince said Choco-ade was the biggest-selling biscuit in New Zealand in its first week back on the shelves.
Mrs Johnson began her campaign aggressively, offering free biscuits for people who signed up to her campaign. No one actually claimed the biscuits.
She says her Facebook efforts had been running "about 10 months to a year" before Griffin's got in touch.
"We had about 500 likes before Griffin's got in touch and that was after I put a link on their Facebook page months earlier," she said.
"A Facebook page is easy to set up but getting people to pay attention isn't that easy."
The profit of Griffin's owner, NZ Snack Foods, fell 50 percent to $8.2 million in calendar 2011 after costs rose faster than sales and it took an impairment charge against its Nice and Natural brand.
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25/07/2012 3:14:13 p.m.
To be honest, I don't remember these biscuits the first time round. Wasn't that the age of Mallowpuffs?
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