Thomas’ Bakes Up the Ultimate Breakfast Mashup
Commemorated annually on February 9, National Bagel Day offers fans the opportunity to revel in their love for bagels and take part in the media fanfare surrounding this popular observance. As the leading brand of pre-packaged grocery store bagels, Thomas’ was once again in prime position to make a mark on this ‘hole-y’ holiday celebrating one of its most popular and heralded offerings.
After evaluating the media landscape surrounding food holidays, Vault identified that another holiday celebrating an equally iconic foodie favorite shared its observance date with National Bagel Day: National Pizza Day. Pizza and bagels were a natural fit and findings revealed that there was minimal media coverage surrounding pizza bagels. This insight lead to Vault’s strategic recommendation for Thomas’ to celebrate the convergence of these two food holidays by creating the ultimate breakfast mashup: the Thomas’ Pizza Flavored Bagel.
A robust media relations campaign yielded 339 placements, 54 million impressions and $3.8 million in ad value. The National Pizza Day news swept the nation with 13 regional chef cooking segments showcasing unique pizza bagel recipes, placements in high-profile outlets like Real Simple, Refinery29 and FoxNews.com and headline news mentions from coast to coast airing more than 200 times in over 100 markets.
A (Breakfast) Battle For the Ages
To continue the excitement of Thomas’ 135th anniversary, Vault planned and executed a national recipe competition: The Hometown Breakfast Battle. The goal was to increase Thomas’ recipe and photography database for ThomasBreads.com—typically a substantial marketing cost for a brand, while also connecting with a younger demographic through the world of social media “food porn.”
Vault identified 135 target U.S. markets and selected one chef from each city to submit a locally inspired breakfast recipe using a Thomas’ product. Through communication vehicles such as nationwide media relations, on-pack promotion and social media, Thomas’ asked consumers to vote for their favorite chef, with chances to win prizes.
Vault’s media relations efforts yielded 607 placements, 61.6 million impressions and $2.5 million in ad value. The contest hashtag #ThomasBreakfastBattle was widely shared across social media, including by three governors, Ingrid Michaelson, Miss Delaware and the Green Bay Packers, leading to more than 483,000 consumer votes on ThomasBreakfastBattle.com.
Thomas' Proves National Bagel Day is its "Everything"
February 9th might seem like an ordinary day on the calendar, but Vault was tasked with the challenge of making Thomas’ Bagels’ celebration of National Bagel Day rise above the other food holidays trying to gobble up the day’s media coverage. National Pizza Day, National Pancake Day and Fat Tuesday all also vied for the media spotlight — and consumers’ stomachs.
To cut through the clutter, Vault executed a robust national and regional media relations campaign that highlighted the new Lemon Blueberry Bagel Thomas’ was debuting on “the hole-iest day of the year,” its sweepstakes to win free bagels on Facebook as well as a “Bagel Nation” infographic highlighting America’s favorite bagel flavors. The results were mouth-watering with 123 total placements mentioning Thomas’ on National Bagel Day, a 120% increase over the previous year’s media coverage.
Thomas’ “Toasts” to 135 Years
Thomas’ English Muffins have been an iconic breakfast staple in American kitchens (and toasters!) for more than a century. To celebrate the 135th anniversary of the brand, Vault coordinated a media event featuring celebrity Thomases at The Muffin House in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York, the location where the baking began.
Vault created a Thomas’ branded food truck and handed out free breakfast sandwiches all morning long to passersby. Guests were delighted to have the opportunity to meet Philip Michael Thomas (Tubbs from “Miami Vice”); Richard Thomas (John Boy Walton from “The Waltons” also now starring as Frank Gaad on "The Americans"); Larry Thomas (The Soup Nazi from “Seinfeld”); Thomas Ian Nicholas (star of “Rookie of the Year” and Kevin from “American Pie”); U.S. Olympic figure skater Debi Thomas; and Sean Patrick Thomas (Derek from “Save The Last Dance”) The campaign yielded 44 placements and more than 40 million impressions.