What is in this article?:
Visram, a celebrated organic products entrepreneur and mother of one, opens up about the AMEX ad, why HAPPYBABY will always be organic, and why the company continues to make the journey each March to Natural Products Expo West.
An Oprah moment every day
NewHope360: Congratulations on the American Express commercial. How did this opportunity come about for you and HAPPYBABY?
Shazi Visram: Thank you. It’s been incredible to be a part of this. In fact, it feels like we hit the jack pot. In 2009, we were in a competition called “Shine A Light” hosted by NBC and American Express. The contest was held to highlight business that are doing well based on their dedication to innovation, customer service and community. We signed up for that contest at the very last minute, and two weeks later we were selected as a finalist out of 4,700 entries. That happened right before [Natural Product] Expo East 2009. As a result of being a finalist, we were the basis of a TV campaign for Shine A Light.
We got a lot of air play out of that, and I thought that was the biggest thing that would ever happen to us. But last year, we got a call from American Express for their Business is Booming contest, which was held among 7 million Open card holders. Seven businesses that are doing well in these economic times were chosen as finalists. We were selected as one of those seven. We were highlighted twice, and I’m told those two competitions were not related. In first commercial, I am pregnant with my baby; in the second, I am holding him. It was a really fun experience. Now a radio campaign has started, and they are extending the TV commercial into a print campaign.
NewHope360: What impact have you seen from this exposure?
SV: It’s been hard to measure the impact. It has definitely created additional mass brand awareness around what once was a hardcore natural brand. The latest commercial showcases our pouch packaging and other innovations and shows that we are an authentic mom-run company. This has been really powerful, because we have a lot of competition in this space from the 800-pound gorillas that have dominated the baby food market, as well as from private-equity backed brands. We are different. We are a mom-owned brand, and these spots celebrate us for that.
NewHope360: What kind of sales uptick did you see from the spots?
SV:In terms of sales, we couldn’t handle the increased demand on our online store, so we had to shut it down for now. On the retail side, our products have been flying off the shelf. It’s like having an Oprah moment happen every day for a quarter.