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Sara Lee and Foster Grant Leverage Social Media

Two of the most memorable advertising campaigns of the 1960s and 70s arose out of consumer products giants. Sara Lee Corporation filled the airwaves, back in the day, with the innocuous and often misunderstood jingle: “Everybody doesn’t like something … But nobody doesn’t like Sara Lee.”

And Foster Grant stepped up with a campaign that equally captured its 15 minutes of fame in a pre-Warhol world: “Who’s that behind those Foster Grants?”

Sunglasses and rich desserts …. what could be more symbolic of that simpler age? A time when authors pecked away on Remington typewriters, and families gathered around the TV at night to choose among three network TV options and, perhaps, a cheesy local TV offering and whatever happened to be on PBS that night.

With the dawn of internet and social media, it’s a different world today, but it’s a world in which tried-and-true messages can effectively be delivered … via the newest of cutting-edge media.

Sara Lee revived the popular campaign in 2000, and again five years later, but the social media incarnation is interesting.

Sara Lee recently ran a social coupon campaign with social marketing firm SocialTwist that resulted in 81% coupon redemption, says a recent article in Direct Marketing News.

While the campaign only generated around 65,000 website visitors in 30 days, it is one more example of brands testing out traditional direct marketing tactics in the realm of social media.

In January, the brand presented consumers with a $1 off coupon for Jimmy Dean D-lights breakfast sandwiches but were encouraged to share the offer with three or more friends in order to receive a coupon for an additional $1.50 off.

According to SocialTwist, more than 64% of visitors made the referrals and received the $2.50 off coupon, with the referral chain extending to up to five referrals per initial referral. SocialTwist founder Vijay Pullur said that his company has seen similar results with its other clients such as ConAgra Foods’ Hunt’s tomato products, which saw a 55% redemption rate.

Sara Lee had the potency of social referrals in mind when developing the campaign. “At Sara Lee, we know that direct friend-to-friend referrals are highly credible because consumers know their friends personally, know their likes and dislikes, and naturally target the shared messages better than any demographics or psychographics,” said Michael McDowell, manager of shopper marketing at Sara Lee.

Eyewear designer FGX International resurrected the brand’s “Who’s that behind those Foster Grants?” tagline by launching a $3-million integrated consumer campaign on April 18.

The effort merges TV, radio and digital elements – including social media – and will eventually incorporate email and search engine marketing.

The 15-second spot will air on national network TV, featuring stylish people sporting the iconic shades and stressing Foster Grant’s variety of sunglass styles. The social media element will run on Facebook and incorporate the company’s partnership with Spreadshirt, an e-commerce company that specializes in custom t-shirts.

Cause marketing is an element of the effort; a portion of the proceeds from t-shirt sales will be donated to the American Heart Association.

“We like that consumers can interact with it and put their own content with it,” said Sal Siano, marketing director at Foster Grant. “Social media is a great way to use the tagline in a modern way…We need to gain awareness among the 35-and-under audience, and social media is a good way to get the word out to that younger target.”