Creative PR: eating a Ford
I don’t usually flack client work on this blog, but this week our team at Thornley Fallis created such a fantastic event and media opportunity I just have to brag (just a little).
The team was challenged to tell a complicated story made up of disparate elements: environment, food, manufacturing, ecology, transportation, technology and fun. We created a unique experience that pulled everthing together into solid story that proved to be compelling to journalists, bloggers, influencers and people every where.
There’s no need for me to retell the story here, when Citizen food columnist Ron Eade has already told it so well. I’ve pasted it below. Read it and drool…
Have you eaten a Ford lately?
OCT 18 11 – 3:40 PM –Care for a little mayonnaise with that car door?
Those who expect to see wheat and soy in their sandwiches and breakfast cereal may be surprised to discover these same edible ingredients are starting to show up in car parts.
Not just content with more efficient engines and nifty computers that can parallel-park a car by itself (although that’s pretty cool, too), today’s automakers are looking to edible bits you might normally expect at the kitchen table to reduce weight using renewable ingredients.
Sometimes-edible biomaterials have recently shown up in car doors to reinforce the plastic, plastic cup holders and arm rests, and as insulation in stereo equipment.
With only a little stretch, serving car parts – or, rather, ingredients that go into parts – for lunch was exactly the point at Atelier restaurant on Tuesday, when representatives of Ford Motor Co. of Canada dropped by for their latest of nine “green tour” whistle stops across Canada to promote the company’s more environmentally friendly approach.
Among them is plastic resin reinforced with wheat straw developed at the University of Waterloo, part of the Ontario BioCar Initiative, that Ford is using in some moulded interior parts. The first year it appeared in the 2010 Ford Flex model, plastic with 20-per-cent straw content cut the use of petroleum by 20,000 pounds compared to moulded plastic storage bins reinforced with talc or glass fibre that weigh 10-per-cent more.
Researchers are also looking at sugar from corn, sugarbeets, sugarcane and other plants to make plastic; coconut fibre to reinforce what plastic they do make; and soybeans in the manufacture of foam seats that traditionally relied on petrochemicals.
Restaurant owner Marc Lepine’s (photo, right) kitchen seemed well suited to the task of illustrating the parts-you-can-eat theme as he, perhaps more than any other chef in the nation’s capital, has made it his mission to deconstruct and reassemble food in whimsical if not playful ways. If a chef like Lepine can routinely turn root vegetables into powder, desserts into gelatinous sheets, and olive oil into ice cream, then how hard could it be to serve foam padding in a car seat? Or, at least, the soy that can be used to make padding in a car seat.
We had a lot of fun developing this creative PR event; let me know what you think!