Facebook Contest Sweetens The Deal For Rita’s Italian Ice

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Lorél Marketing Group develops a Facebook promotion that doubles Rita's fan base in just two weeks and lands the company on Inside Facebook's list of top 20 growing fan pages.

Lorél Marketing Group and Rita’s Franchise Company created a Facebook promotion that earned Rita’s over 105,000 new fans in two weeks. In support of Rita’s new co-branded flavor, PEEPS® Italian Ice, the PEEPS® Fandemonium Facebook promotion drove users to become Rita’s fans to participate in an enter-to-win contest and engage with social sharing tools.

The Facebook “PEEPS® Fandemonium” promotion doubled Rita’s fan base, but also created buzz around the new ice flavor by giving fans the opportunity to express themselves through social sharing icons.

“Rita’s Italian Ice and PEEPS® Marshmallow Candies are both beloved icons of spring,” says Lynn Hoban, VP of Marketing, Rita’s Franchise Company. “Pairing up with Just Born, parent company of the PEEPS® Brand, was a natural extension of Rita’s core brand essence of happiness. In addition, we utilized the Facebook platform to give the classic marshmallow chick and bunny icons fun ‘PEEPS®-o-nalities’ – from ‘Playful’ to ‘Sassy’ – that Facebook fans instantly embraced. That’s what social media is all about: giving fans a way to socialize around things they already love.”

Every day of the promotion, fans flocked to Rita’s Facebook fan page, http://www.facebook.com/ritasitalianicecompany, to enter to win prizes and share PEEPS®-o-nalities on their own Facebook pages. Rita’s gave away Free Ice for a Year every day of the promotion to one lucky fan, and for every 1,000 new fans acquired, Rita’s also awarded a “swag bag” full of coupons, plush Rita’s and PEEPS® toys, and other sweet treats.

In-store POP, email campaigns and radio executed by Lorél Marketing Group, advertising agency for Rita’s, helped create awareness and drive consumers to the contest. Rita’s saw a spike of more than 28,000 new fans in just one day, with over 105,000 total new fans acquired during the two-week contest period. This rapid growth landed Rita’s at number 17 on Inside Facebook’s top 20 growing fan pages for the week of March 29.

Now that Rita’s has already met their 2010 marketing goal of obtaining 210,000 Facebook fans, the focus is on continual engagement with the fan base. “We will continue to design innovative ways to dialogue and interact with the Rita’s Guest,” says Katie Hooper, VP of Account Services, Lorél Marketing Group.

About Lorél Marketing Group

Lorél Marketing Group is a full-service, multi-channel marketing agency in its twenty-fifth year of accelerating the measurable success of leading lifestyle and healthcare brands. We specialize in insight mining, strategy development, branded creative and measurable marketing promotions that embrace integrated online and offline tactics. Lorél has been directly involved in mapping and motivating consumers’ brand affinity and purchase activity across every marketing channel. By leveraging strategic, passionate problem solving, Lorél employs earnest collaboration. Over 70 people strong and privately held, Lorél provides the critical mass warranted to think, solve, and execute quickly across every discipline. For more information, please visit http://www.lorel.com.

About Rita’s Franchise Company

Rita’s Franchise Company, headquartered in Trevose, Pa., is the largest Italian Ice concept in the nation, currently operating in 18 states with more than 550 stores. Rita’s brand promise is Ice, Custard and Happiness. The chain offers a variety of frozen treats including its famous Italian Ice, Old Fashioned Frozen Custard, layered Gelati and healthy Light Line™ treat options, as well as its signature Misto® and Blendini™ creations. Rita’s was named one of the Top 25 Franchise High Performers by the Wall Street Journal’s ‘Startup Journal.’ In a 2009 Zagat survey of over 6,000 fast-food fans, Rita’s was ranked #2 in the Top Ice Cream/Custard category. The World Needs More Rita’s!

About Just Born, Inc.

Just Born, Inc. is a privately owned company founded in 1923 and headquartered in Bethlehem, Pa., where it manufactures PEEPS®, HOT TAMALES®, MIKE AND IKE®, MIKE AND IKE® ZOURS® and TEENEE BEANEE® Brand Candies. PEANUT CHEWS® Brand Candies are produced in Philadelphia, PA. All Just Born candies are made in the U.S.A.

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Eleni Garbis
Lorel Marketing Group
610-337-2343 ext. 274
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