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Red Rose Stirs Sharing with Ecard Valentine Promotion

By Feb 16, 2012

On Valentine’s Day, the Red Rose tea brand delivered what it hopes are thousands of e-cards sent by its fans to their close friends and relatives from a page on the brand’s web site.

And from the group of site visitors who have entered their email address and sent one of a handful of template Valentine’s Day cards, five were chosen at random and sent a bouquet of red roses that they can then give to someone they love. The five winners were notified on Feb. 7 and asked to submit names and addresses of their chosen bouquet recipients; those flowers are also being delivered today.

Red Rose ValentineThe template messages on the cards emphasize special memories of time spent with friends and relations: “Even on a holiday that’s filled with chocolates and candy, I can think of nothing sweeter than spending a moment with you.” The ecards don’t carry any Red Rose branding—unless you count the photos of roses incorporated into each design.

Facebook fans can also get to the Red Rose ecard promotion by liking the brand on Facebook.

“A lot of our consumers have grown up drinking the brand, or were introduced to it years ago by a friend or family member,” says Michele Peters, Red Rose brand manager with parent Redco Foods. “The strategy behind the ecards is to tap into that emotion that our consumers already have with the brand and provide them with an outlet so that they can re-engage with the brand and share it with someone else, just as it was shared with them.”

Red Rose made an exploratory move into ecards last Christmas with a low-key promotion that let site visitors send customized holiday cards, also stressing the themes of memories and shared experiences. For a while now, the Red Rose web site has also included a feature page that lets visitors upload their own stories of shared memories and time spent involving the brand.

“We took some of the learnings from those consumer stories that had been shared and input those into the headlines of the ecard promotions,” says Peters. “That way, the copy [for the ecard promotions] really pulled from true consumer stories.”

Peters says the brand has seen “a better response” to the Valentine’s Day promotion than to its holiday ecard campaign, thanks to the addition of the rose-bouquet participation incentive and to a grass-roots effort to spread word of the promotion through social media. Red Rose has done no on- or offline advertising around the campaign, which was designed and managed by the Pinkney Hugo Group agency.

On the ecard signup page, consumers are also given the opportunity to subscribe to Red Rose’s “Tea Readings” enewsletter and get coupons, recipes and suggested food pairings, among other content.  

One aim of the campaign is to get Red Rose’s key demographic of women 35 and up started handing down a “tradition” of the brand inside their own circles of influence.

And that brand emotion of sharing still holds true, says Peters. When they idea came up to give out rose bouquets to five Valentine’s ecard senders, Peters says, there was some expectation of pitching the incentive to men as an easy way to acquire a gift for their wife or girlfriend.

“But we found that the people who won the roses are passing them to their mothers, daughters or best friends, with thanks for shared good times,” she says. “It’s pretty wonderful to see.”