Work

Arepa P.A.N. Experience Food Truck Tour

To celebrate World Arepa Day on September 8 and promote the east coast Arepa P.A.N. Experience 2018 Food Truck Tour, Newlink developed a communications campaign for P.A.N., the most recognized brand of precooked corn flour.

The campaign launched the initiative, promoting the delicious meal to Americans while also educating them about its nutritional benefits and culinary versatility. The experience invited consumers to visit P.A.N.’s official food truck in one of its many stops along the East Coast through August and September 2018. While widely-known among the Hispanic community, the delectable Arepa had yet to reach the masses in the United Sates. The Arepa P.A.N. Experience presented an excellent opportunity to generate awareness of both the meal and its core ingredient – P.A.N. corn meal - through an inviting, interactive experience for consumers, traditional media and influencers. Newlink supported the series of stops in key markets with strategic public relations tactics including media relations, media events, interviews with key spokespersons and influencer engagement, all leading to and generating buzz for the International Day of the Arepa on September 8th.

Objectives

  • Generate mass consumer awareness of the delectable and versatile Latin American staple Arepas and it’s key ingredient, P.A.N. corn meal mix, throughout key U.S. cities including New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Atlanta and Miami
  • Educate consumers about the product: First, the versatility of the Arepa, its many filling options, as an any-time-of-day meal and the restaurants in each city to experience them. Second, highlight the original main ingredient – P.A.N. corn meal mix - and it’s benefits including being a healthy, gluten-free option that is also easy to make
  • Seek brand endorsements from third parties including media, influencers and connoisseurs; secure collaborations that support further engagement with the end consumer
  • Reinforce messaging leading up to World Arepa Day and P.A.N. being a supporter for it’s nationwide celebration

Insights

P.A.N. precooked corn meal was created by Empresas Polar in Venezuela in the 1960’s in an effort to preserve the traditional consumption of corn-based culinary delicacies such as the arepa. Harina P.A.N. precooked corn meal, currently produced in the U.S., was innovative when conceived as it reduced the preparation time of the corn dough, while still ensuring that the arepas would maintain their traditional flavors. Today, the brand is present in more than 60 countries across the globe, bringing the taste of corn to consumers in an easy and practical way that allows them to get creative with the most diverse fillings and flavors for their arepa creations.

The Arepa P.A.N. Experience awakened taste buds across the eastern coast with a gourmet twist on an everyday dish. Foodies indulged in the food truck’s free-sample menu serving a wide array of arepa options and learned about the simplicity and subtle flavor of the dish which allows it to adapt to any recipe and meal time from a light breakfast to a satisfying lunch or even a balanced midnight snack.

The Arepa P.A.N. Experience Food Truck Tour kicked off in New York at the Food Truck Derby on August 10 and culminated in Miami at the Wynwood Art Block Party on September 8.





Transformation

As an integral part of the overarching campaign for the promotion of the Arepa P.A.N. Experience Food Truck, Newlink developed a communications strategy to capture top national and regional exposure beyond the selected cities (New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Atlanta and Miami) of the Food Truck tour focusing the narrative on World Arepa Day, the versatility of the dish and its nutritional benefits.

In order to align key messages for the spokespersons, Newlink conducted an Orbital Speaker Training with Business Development Manager Joseph Fragoso. During this session, Newlink presented theory and practice session to prepare him for media interviews and on-site encounters as well as techniques on delivering client key messages to media. In order to provide Joseph with real-life examples and test his skills, Newlink finalized the session with an in-person mock interview which was recorded and later evaluated by experts to provide him with constructive feedback.

In addition to developing and distributing content such as press releases, media alerts and official invitations, Newlink coordinated and executed two media-exclusive events in NYC and Miami where 40+ key media representatives indulged in a carefully curated gourmet tasting of arepas. During these events, Harina P.A.N. spokespersons and brand representatives had one-on-one interviews with media to share key messages for the Arepa P.A.N. Experience, resulting in national media coverage in outlets such as NTN 24 and Miami Herald.

Another key component to Newlink’s strategy was securing strategic partnerships with influencers in the main cities to promote the food truck and drive traffic to the locations. One of these partnerships led to the participation of Harina P.A.N. at Buzzfeed’s Cafecito Mixer on September 12, 2018. BuzzFeed's Latinx ERG, Mi Gente, hosted a morning mixer where about 100 guests met and socialized with other Latinos that work in media and tech. Attending companies included Facebook, Google, Air Bnb, etc. This was the first of a series of events to be hosted during Hispanic Heritage month. P.A.N. was the official food sponsor of this event, providing an exclusive opportunity for the brand to align with leading companies in the media and tech industry.

As a result of the campaign, Newlink positioned Harina P.A.N. as the best and only corn meal mix brand to use when making arepas, as well as positioned the dish as the ideal vessel for limitless variations of flavors and cuisines. Top national media outlets such as Eater Washington, Latino Rebels, Dining Out Miami, El Nuevo Herald, Sun Sentinel, Radio Caracol, and El Sentinel among others covered the food truck route.

One of Newlink’s top accomplishments during the campaign was securing the presence of the food truck during an entire show of Despierta America, the most popular American Spanish language morning show in the US broadcasted by Univision. This World Arepa Day dedicated show included P.A.N.’s food truck presence and full cooking segment featuring the brand, which represented a total viewership of 2.4 million viewers in two hours.

Results

+23M

Viewers Reached (Traditional Media)

+22M

Viewers Reached (Social Media)

+40

Influencer Partnerships

+45M

Total Viewers Reached


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