SPC has been a part of Australian life for a long time. Everybody grew up with SPC in their lunchboxes, pantries and on their camping trips. It’s a much-loved Australian brand, up there with Qantas and Vegemite. And if the Government wouldn’t respond to SPC’s pleas, perhaps they’d listen to a passionate outcry from the thousands upon thousands of Australians who cherish the brand.
SPC’s predicament was a sensitive topic, with a lot of coverage in the media and throughout social networks. Given the historical love for the SPC brand, Leo Burnett knew that leveraging social media would be fundamental to unlocking the power of the public. It would also allow the agency the spontaneity and flexibility they needed to save the business on a tight timeframe, with a miniscule budget.
But how do you shift people from caring to actually doing? The right message at the right time can galvanize a nation, a very proud ‘take-action type of nation’. To achieve this Leo Burnett had to rekindle the country’s love for this proudly Australian company and its products. They needed to ignite pride in Australian-made produce. They had to convince people to stop shopping with their wallets and start shopping with their hearts.
At the time Leo Burnett were monitoring the news, waiting for an opportunity to act. Eventually, from amongst all the debate, one everyday Australian stood out. On Thursday 6th February Linda Drummond tweeted the #SPCSunday hashtag, encouraging friends to eat SPC on Sunday in support.
When Leo Burnett saw Linda’s tweet, it was clear to them that this was an idea that could be easily embraced by the nation, but they only had a few days to act. So the agency immediately formed a partnership to help turn her hashtag into a corporate Australian success story.
Knowing that #SPCSunday would be more effective with a human face at the forefront, Leo Burnett quickly established Linda as spokesperson for the brand and connected her with PR to put her in Australian’s major news media. She represented a nation’s love for the brand – and Leo Burnett needed to amplify it. They worked tirelessly alongside Linda, orchestrating the conversation so that a big brand movement still felt like a spontaneous grassroots movement.
Within minutes of Linda’s tweet, Leo Burnett's social media response team activated the #SPCSunday hashtag with an emotive brand message and begun creating a suite of branded assets to share. Then they reached out to key stakeholders through a stream of public tweets, direct messages, Facebook posts and Linkedin.
The execution phase continued almost non-stop for 96 hours. The agency knew that to help rescue this 100 year-old company, there could be no lull in comms over the campaign period. Nor a drop in intensity.
As #SPCSunday began to gain traction in social media, Leo Burnett continued to deliver the campaign to more and more influencers, including passionate Australian celebrities with large Twitter followings, advocates of Australian-made produce, prominent retailers such as Coles and Woolworths (the two largest Australian supermarket chains), and high profile Australians with ties to regional Australia (especially in the Goulburn Valley – the home of SPC). Then Leo Burnett ignited more fervour through strategic and paid Facebook advertising, media kits to key social stakeholders and delivered #SPCSunday to news media as a hot topic to exploit.
By employing speed, key influencer outreach and emotive messaging as our prime tactics, we rallied the public into a force that couldn’t be ignored. The agency fuelled #SPCSunday with hundreds of real-time interactions that touched a patriotic nerve. The emotive language helped every Australian feel like they were part of something bigger: saving a much-loved Australian business.
The people refused to let Australia’s last fruit processing company go under. In only four days the #SPCSunday hashtag reached the majority of the nation. Supermarket shelves emptied and sales boomed as families all over Australia sat around their tables on #SPCSunday, rekindling their love for a proudly Aussie brand.
This sparked a remarkable chain of events, including a huge rescue package from the Victorian Government and a 5-year deal with Australia’s largest supermarket chain.
Thanks to the #SPCSunday campaign an iconic Australia company was saved, along with the fates of 3000 workers in the Goulburn Valley region, all within a week of Linda’s tweet. It has gone down as an extraordinary Australian corporate success story.
• $5 million earned media with only $2500 paid media.
• SPC fruit sales up 60%.
• 14.9 million Twitter impressions in 4 days.
• 82% of all #SPCSunday tweets were retweeted.
• New deal with Australia’s largest supermarket chain, worth $70 million over 5 years.
• $22 million Government funding.
• 3000 jobs secured.
• And #SPCSunday lives on. Every Sunday since, Australians continue to show their support.