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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tunheim Partners’ “Tonight Show” Project Wins 2010 PRSA Classics Award

When No Name Premium Meats & Seafood challenged Tunheim Partners to “Bring Home the Bacon,” little did they know it would come in the form of a 300-pound likeness of Conan O’Brien, carved out of white chocolate (to reflect his pasty, white complexion) complete with No Name bacon for his red, wavy hair.

Yet that’s exactly what won the small Minnesota meat company national visibility on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien and won Tunheim Partners a 2010 PRSA Classics Award for Creative Tactics. Tunheim Partners received the award at the 32nd annual Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards ceremony at International Market Square on Thursday, March 25.

Background: In a local TV interview last June, Conan O’Brien said he would bring The Tonight Show to the Minnesota State Fair in return for his weight in chocolate-covered bacon, a state fair delicacy. Because No Name Premium Meats & Seafood makes bacon, they challenged Tunheim Partners to capitalize on O’Brien’s “request.” With little more than two months to capitalize on the State Fair time-hook, Tunheim Partners commissioned the State Fair’s butter-carving artist to create a life-sized bust of O’Brien; then established contacts at NBC Universal to get the bust past security and into The Tonight Show studios in hopes of a “guest appearance.”

In preparation for a possible mention, Tunheim Partners prepared a comprehensive social media strategy by creating accounts for the ‘bacon bust” on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter and Flickr. The team also produced a cartoon-like video for YouTube, showing the bust “traveling” from Minnesota to Hollywood to mimic Conan’s first show in which he “ran” from New York to Los Angeles . The bust “took photos” of itself at well-known tourist destinations like Old Faithful, Las Vegas , etc. that were posted on Flickr.

The effort paid off. Conan O’Brien mentioned No Name Premium Meats & Seafood once and showed the chocolate-carved bust on The Tonight Show twice: on August 26 and 31 for a total of 7.5 minutes with nightly audiences of 2.5 million viewers per night. By leveraging social media networks as well as traditional media relations, No Name achieved a media slam dunk and saw bacon sales increase by 27 percent nationally.

No Name is a division of J&B Group - a family-owned company based in St. Michael , Minnesota . The company is a leader in perishable food manufacturing and distribution, serving the retail and food service industry throughout the Midwest and beyond.

No Name and Tunheim Partners have established strong working relationships with media contacts throughout the Midwest region focusing on food and entertainment, business and trade media.

The PRSA Classics Awards are divided into two categories: Elements and Programs. Classics Elements Awards honor the best program tactics, while Classics Programs Awards honor the best overall public relations campaigns.