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Kellie Pickler and Fresh Step Unite for ASPCA

Kellie Pickler and Fresh Step Unite for ASPCA
By Christian Bottorff
© 2012 CMA Close Up® News Service / Country Music Association®, Inc.
When the Fresh Step cat litter brand approached Creative Artists Agency for help creating and marketing a sweater to benefit the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, they suggested Kellie Pickler as the campaign’s solo celebrity spokeswoman.
Her fashion sense, bubbly personality and lifelong love of cats provided the instant connection needed to pull together the needed buzz for the early 2012 campaign, which also helped promote the release of Pickler’s new album, 100 Proof, as the campaign was getting under way. Pickler’s star power led to a sellout the day she wore the sweater on ABC’s “The View.” Created by fashion designer Geren Ford, it sold for $35. All proceeds went to the ASPCA.
“I don’t think there is much about it we don’t feel really good about,” said David Kargas, Sr. Group Manager, Public Relations, The Clorox Co., the parent company to Fresh Step. “The idea was fun, and people had fun with it. Kellie embraced it and helped us bring it to life.”
“Cat lovers tend to be females and Fresh Step was looking to capture that consumer demographic,” said Laura Hutfless of Creative Artists Agency, which brokered the deal. “Within hours of ‘The View’ appearance, the sweater sold out. That speaks to the power of an artist to help connect a brand with their target audience in an organic and meaningful way.”
Pickler’s use of social media was an added bonus. She has almost 500,000 Twitter followers and regularly chats with her fans online. That connection can be important in a socially driven campaign, which called on Fresh Step customers to post photos of themselves with the sweater on Facebook.
“Country artists seem to be very in touch with fans, and on some level accessible to them,” Kargas said. “The fact that she has a big following on Twitter and Facebook is the result of how she feels approachable to lots of people. It’s not like we look at it and say ‘We can only work with someone who has many Twitter or Facebook fans.’ But we saw someone who was approachable, and would bring the fun spirit to this campaign that we were looking for.”
“Cause marketing is a growing trend in the marketing space,” Hutfless said. “It is an effective way for brands to reach consumers, and for artists to bring awareness to a cause or organization they support. Fans are particularly receptive as they view the message as authentic. When we are able to pair an artist with a like-minded brand, the results are magic.”
On the Web: www.KelliePickler.com; @KelliePickler; www.FreshStep.com

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