Farmers Market 75th Anniversary (Award Winning Case Study)

In 2009, the Original Farmers Market in Los Angeles celebrated its 75th Anniversary. WHPR has represented the Market for nearly 20 years. In the fall of 2008, WHPR joined in initial planning for the Market’s 75th anniversary; working with other professionals (a design/graphics firm, a marketing agency and the Market’s senior marketing staff and management), WHPR played a significant role in the planning and realization of the year long celebration, which won the following awards:

The entire Farmers Market 75th Anniversary Campaign won the California Travel & Tourism Commission’s Judge’s Choice in Excellence Marketing Excellence Award; The Farmers Market Birthday Bash won the Public Relations Society of America’s PRSA/LA Prism Award for events; The Farmers Market 75th Anniversary Website won a PRSA/LA Prism Award; The North American Precis Syndicate presented Farmers Market and WHPR with a “Golden Thinker”Certificate of Excellence for Superior Achievement in Media Relations for the 75th Anniversary Video Feature Release. The VFR was aired in 196 markets (a typical release reaches roughly 100), including 72% of the top 50 markets in the U.S. The placement rate put the Market’s success rate in the top ¼ of 1% of all NAPS distributed materials in 2009, materials from most Fortune 500, the 12 largest PR firms in the U.S. and 1,600 accounts.


WHPR provided consistent counsel on the nature and content of all campaign communications about the Market; WHPR framed the story, ensured that the Market’s name and “brand” were consistently stressed and crafted copy which celebrated, enhanced and burnished the Market’s vaunted reputation.

Elements included:
A complete media kit for the 75th which included traditional materials as well as a DVD “history” of Farmers Market which featured both contemporary and vintage images of the beloved property. WHPR drafted all copy for the kit and WHPR Associate Kirsten Holguin produced, directed and edited the DVD. Ms. Holguin also managed the nationwide distribution of the DVD to newsrooms. View Farmers Market B-Roll.

Working with Newsom Design, WHPR assisted in the development of a 75th Anniversary section on the Market’s existing website, drafting copy for the site and consulting on the tone, style and content of the pages. Throughout the year, WHPR shaped, framed, drafted and distributed news releases (including the made-for-TV DVD). For the actual Birthday celebration event (July 13, 2009), WHPR provided a detailed event flow guide, drafted the Market CEO’s speech, scripted the event host (comedian Jeff Garlin) and participated in the planning and execution of the event with Market senior staff and outside video and event production company.

WHPR arranged for and assisted in the production of a three-hour live on-site morning news show broadcast (KTLA). WHPR pitched and managed coverage generated on every television news station in the L.A. market.

Event Production and Event Internet Campaign. WHPR worked on the planning and execution of A Taste of Farmers Market, an inaugural event featuring a walking/dining tour of the Market. To drive attendance for the ticketed event, WHPR developed and executed a web campaign which resulted in a spike in registrations and, ultimately, a sold-out event.

Farmers Market History Book. The A.F. Gilmore Company, owners of the Original Farmers Market, asked WHPR Partner David Hamlin to write a history of the Market (Los Angeles’s Original Farmers Market, Arcadia Press, 2009). Co-authored by company archivist Brent Arena, the book is still widely available in bookstores throughout Los Angeles and has sold thousands of copies.

A sample of WHPR’s media results for Farmers Market 75th Anniversary:
Front page of the Los Angeles Times
Cover feature, Westways Magazine

Three hours of live coverage one KTLA:
KTLA Morning News, July 14, 2009, “Celebrating 75 Years: The Original Farmers Market”
KTLA Morning News, July 14, 2009, “Restaurants for Breakfast”
Water Cooler Buzz: Community & the Farmers Market

KCAL 9 News at Noon, July 14, 2009
KABC Eyewitness News at 11 am, July 16, 2009
AP national story appears in major newspapers