Leveraging a Quirky Holiday to Drive New Menu Item Trial, Media Results

Noodles & Company serves classic noodle dishes inspired by flavors from around the world. The national fast-casual chain tasked Linhart PR with generating national, local and trade news coverage to drive awareness and trial of its new zucchini noodles called Zoodles. Noodles and Linhart PR leveraged August’s National Zucchini Day as an “ownable” holiday to help drive awareness and trial, and secure coverage, including the TODAY Show.

Client
Services
Communications Strategy & Planning
Integrated Marketing Communications
Media Relations & Influencer Marketing
Industry
Multi-Unit Restaurants
Awards
PRSA/ Colorado Gold Pick
New Zucchini Noodles

CHallenge

Noodles introduced Zoodles as a healthy meal option to bring back lapsed guests, attract new customers, and increase frequency among current fans craving lower-carb choices. Linhart PR needed to gain media attention and help Noodles overcome struggles with brand recognition due to its limited footprint.

Solution

Linhart PR leveraged August’s National Zucchini Day as an “ownable” holiday and created a promotion where guests could substitute classic noodles for Zoodles without the usual upcharge. The team leveraged insights about Noodles’ key consumers to craft relevant messages, emphasizing the nutritional benefits of zucchini.

  • Landed TODAY: For national broadcast, Linhart PR focused on the TODAY Show, the No. 1 national morning show. Linhart PR pitched a fun, visually-rich segment – a Guinness Record attempt to spiralize the most zucchinis in one minute by bicycle (which Noodles engineered and dubbed the “Zoodler”). Noodles partnered with Guinness on the attempt, allowing Linhart PR to deliver a packaged idea that included a Guinness spokesperson to guide the record attempt during the Wednesday Whaaat?! series with Kathie Lee and Hoda. Producers loved it!
  • Leveraged Roundups: To circumvent the challenge of securing national features for a brand with a limited restaurant footprint, Linhart PR targeted national, consumer-facing food and lifestyle outlets that run monthly restaurant deals and special offer roundups. The Noodles “holiday” news fit naturally into existing deals/discount columns, and reporters were eager to add the Zoodles promo to other August holiday deals from national brands.
  • Offered Food Deliveries: To drive local news in five focus markets, Linhart PR offered Zoodles deliveries, giving TV news stations the visual element typically required for on-air mentions. Plus, reporters could taste Zoodles for themselves, which helped tell the healthier menu item story and create positive media relationships.
Noodles Coverage on TV
128mil

Impressions

4

National Stories

16

Local Stories

Results

News results for Zucchini Day included 561 stories reaching 322 million+ consumers. Specifically:

  • A TODAY Show Zoodles segment, which ultimately drove 263 news stories/social posts and 128 million+ impressions
  • 4 national online stories with Newsweek, Thrillist, Spoon University and USA Today, reaching 61.5 million readers
  • 16 local stories across all five target markets, reaching 12 million+ consumers, plus an additional 40 local stories outside of the target markets for 30 million+ impressions
  • 5 trade publication placements, for a total of 809,000 media impressions
  • Press release pick-up on 233 news sites nationwide, for 89 million+ media impressions
Partner With Linhart PR

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