Think BIG: Capri Sun’s Creative Stunt, Google’s “Mentioned In” Snippet + Earned Media’s ROI

Welcome back to Belle’s “Think BIG” series. Each month, we’re sharing bold brand ideas, industry insights and all-things measurement + goals. We hope our bitesize news + trend-takes inspire big thinking and big results for your next campaign.

Think BIG blog header

Bold Brand Ideas: Capri Sun’s noise-canceling technology earns coverage

Capri Sun targeted parents with a clever and cheeky promotion: noise-canceling “technology.” The limited-time offer was available on and included two drinks and a $100 TaskRabbit gift card to help free up parents’ time. The offer promises parents 50 seconds of silence, making light of the time it takes to drink a Capri Sun. The brand captured attention with pop-ups in Best Buy.

Why it works (in theory):

  1. The brand newsjacked the cultural moment and conversations surrounding “back-to-school.”
  2. The promotion pulls an emotional lever. It addresses common feelings from parents (overwhelmed, burnt out, tired) and targets their limbic systems, which are often the catalyst for purchase decisions. 
  3. The outside-the-box promotion is entertaining and begs for additional inquiry. “Did Capri Sun launch an electronic? What is their noise canceling technology?” 

The promotion has led to a flurry of online coverage; admittedly, mostly by fellow marketers or trade publications.

This campaign has elements of what we, at Belle, call “earned-first creative.” Earned-first creative centers on unexpected brand-building campaigns that cater to media and consumer interests. In an economic downturn and era of “performance marketing”, campaigns with the purpose of entertaining still matter.

A recent survey of over 700 CMOs across the globe found that marketers must aim to entertain or else they’ll be ignored. Still, over half of those CMOs said their marketing was becoming easy to ignore due to content overload and audience fragmentation. Over half also said they weren’t taking enough creative risks, and in turn, risked being ignored.

Investing in brand-building activations, like Capri Sun’s noise-canceling technology campaign, is imperative for remaining relevant and top-of-mind. However, it’s critical these campaigns consider elements across the paid, earned, shared and owned (PESO) mix. That’s where Capri Sun fell short. 

How this campaign could’ve worked harder for Capri Sun:

  • Organic social content that started conversations around the “technology.” They posted just 1 Instagram in-feed about the promotion, which no longer exists on their page.
  • Calls for user-generated content from parents “testing” the technology to build groundswell.
  • Investment in micro influencers who complemented the theme, providing entertaining back-to-school advice for parents.

What would you add?

Industry Insights: PR implications for Google’s new “mentioned In” search snippet 

Google announced a game-changing feature that underscores the importance of media coverage. The search engine is testing “Mentioned In” snippets, which will highlight mentions from reputable websites underneath a brand’s listing.

Gif Source: Twitter

This is BIG and has several implications for brands:

  1. Credibility: Reputable, third-party coverage can make or break your brand’s perception and positioning. This snippet feature elevates the importance of media relations, brand building and the need for quality, positive news stories. Searchers will begin associating the presence of mentions as an indicator that the website/company is worth clicking on.
  2. Quality of coverage: Right now, it’s unclear how Google will choose which articles to show. We can assume they’ll pull from outlets with strong domain authority. Think “traditional” top-tier outlets like The New York Times, Forbes and Bloomberg. We also know that coverage in top-tier outlets is fewer and farther between due to shrinking newsrooms and resources. The need for creative activations (see first section) will become even more critical to ensure you’re showing up in the right places.
  3. Crisis: Less-than-stellar brand news will be difficult to bury if the news shows up underneath your company’s web results. Because it’s not possible to manage which mentions Google chooses to show, it’s critical that your brand has ample positive coverage to outweigh potential negative mentions.

Google’s new search results solidifies the importance of brand-building tactics (like earned media) – even in economic downturns. We’re eager to see how this rolls out.

Goals: Understanding the ROI of your PR coverage

CMOs, this section is for you. We know the heightened pressure you’re facing to prove ROI + protect your budgets with the (approaching? already happening? successfully diverted?) recession. 

Let’s start with a quote: “Positive earned media is a powerful sales-cycle branding tool, generating awareness for prospective leads, strengthening consideration for qualified leads and sealing the deal for closing sales.” – Forbes

Earned media’s impact on the middle and lower funnel is often underestimated. Leadership teams typically understand how good PR coverage impacts awareness and credibility goals. They understand vanity metrics (e.g., impressions); but these metrics often aren’t enough to defend your budget in economic turmoil. For good reason, the C-suite (looking at you, CFOs) wants to know PR’s impact on the bottom line. 

It’s a PR pro’s job to show how coverage supports each stage of the funnel through more advanced metrics. These metrics should connect with marketing and sales goals (e.g., keyword ranking, website traffic, online inquiries, sales).

Sales funnel with recommended tactics and metrics

Historically, PR pros have focused on top-funnel KPIs, such as impressions, number of media mentions, top publishers and competitive share of voice. With increased reporting capabilities, we can also track mid and lower funnel action with KPIs like SEO impact, domain authority, social media amplification, website referrals and traffic correlation. 

When PR, marketing and sales teams regularly meet, you can also track if coverage has generated leads or helped shorten the sales cycle due to increased credibility. We recently heard from a client: “The regional coverage is really resonating with locals, and it’s making our sales team’s cold calls much easier and more productive!”

Here are examples of how we’ve recently tracked coverage’s impact across our client’s customer journeys:

Keyword Ranking

Website Traffic Correlation

What metrics are you tracking? How do you report PR’s influence on the customer journey?

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Abby Papenfus

With extensive experience in B2B and B2C marketing, Abby Papenfus applies her love of analytics, research and creative strategy to connect-the-dots and drive what matters. She has led record-breaking influencer and PR campaigns for industry-leading brands like Nationwide Insurance, Big Lots and Dearfoams.