Bland Farms® and SpongeBob SquarePants Bring Shoppers Some Sweet Excitement
GLENNVILLE, GA - SpongeBob SquarePants may live in a pineapple under the sea, but I guarantee the quirky sponge would jump at the opportunity to stay in a Vidalia® Onion from Bland Farms®. The premium onion grower has joined forces with Paramount Pictures Corporation to roll out their partnership promoting this season’s freshest Vidalias alongside The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run.
“SpongeBob is still an iconic character, and our Vidalias are still as sweet as ever,” said Delbert Bland, Owner of Bland Farms. “Our retailers and consumers have embraced the program despite the obvious challenges.”
As Georgia’s Vidalia Onion season officially kicked off on April 16, farmers faced layers of challenges including supply, logistics, and shopper behavior. However, despite this year’s lower crop yields and the obvious issues from the pandemic, Bland Farms continues to see an elevated demand for Vidalias and sales are up.
Instead of keeping marketing initiatives status quo, Bland Farms encouraged retailers to lighten the mood and capitalize on Vidalia season and SpongeBob’s epic popularity by running a national retailer display contest. Produce managers can submit images of their SpongeBob-themed Vidalia in-store displays for the chance to win multiple prizes totaling $10,000.
“We have been so impressed with our retailer’s display entries so far,” said Bland. “Our retailers always go above and beyond, and we are so grateful they’ve made an extra effort with the SpongeBob displays to hopefully bring a little something extra to their customers.”
To get consumers involved, according to the press release, Bland Farms is also running a consumer sweepstake where shoppers have a chance to win multiple prizes including a grand prize trip to Paramount Pictures for a family of four.
“We’ve seen COVID-19 upend shopper behavior—triggering increased grocery store visits and a shift to eating at home,” said Meg Robinson, Marketing Manager, Bland Farms. “But, we also recognize that shoppers are trying to shop with more focus and efficiency. Our hope is that this season’s promotional SpongeBob—Vidalia displays offer more accessibility and the quality our consumers have come to expect from us, as well as a bit of levity and fun!”
Bland is engaging audiences of all ages in-store and on social media with a scavenger hunt. Like imitating the plotline of SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, shoppers help find limited collection Vidalia PLU stickers that have Gary the snail on them. Shoppers then snap and post a picture to Bland Farms’ social media pages with #FindTheGaryVidalias for a chance to win weekly gift card prizes.
“We want to continue the momentum of our SpongeBob promotion through the end of Vidalia season. We know that our contest winners will enjoy leveraging their gift cards to purchase and experience The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run at home,” continued Robinson. “Our hope is to bring our consumers the joy and optimism of this beloved character and franchise.”
With a scavenger hunt to drive consumers in store and a display contest to pique interests, Bland Farms has closed in on both sides for retailers to capitalize on. Both contests run through mid-August, and Bland is already seeing an increase in engagement on its social media channels of over 180 percent with SpongeBob-related posts.
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run will skip its theatrical release and head straight to video-on-demand marketplaces in early 2021 before landing on CBS All Access. Despite these delays, Bland Farms is focused on growing the retailer display entries and engaging with consumers.
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