Maryland Food Bank shows us the benefits of playing with your food
Ever since building our first mashed potato snowman at the age of four, we’ve been madly in love with good food sculptures. The most recent example of food art comes from the Maryland Food Bank.
Like most food banks, they have no trouble gathering goods during the kindhearted Christmas season. It’s the other 11 months of the year that provide the biggest challenge. And when you’ve got 460,000 people (including 178,000 children) who rely on your services – as is the case with the Maryland Food Bank – you need to think of increasingly creative ways to get attention and donations.
To do that, the Maryland Food Bank teamed up with a local architecture firm to create three eye-catching sculptures made from stacked cans of food. The displays – “Lily Pad Lunch,” a slice of cake, and a box of Girl Scout cookies – are on display at the White Marsh Mall until June 8. After that, the food will be donated to the Maryland Food Bank and other emergency programs in the area.
Visit White Marsh Mall’s Facebook page to check out all three “construction” creations and vote for your favorite. Read more...
5 food and beverage examples of Vine marketing done right
As we mentioned a few weeks ago, the 6-second video-sharing website Vine is here to stay. (Think of it as Twitter in video form, which makes sense considering the channel is owned by Twitter.)
Like any new social media channel, it’s up to marketers to figure out how to make it work for them. Some food and beverage brands have already embraced the medium, while others might be giving the waters a little more time to warm up before diving in. Out of those videos that are already making a splash, the following provide some of Vine’s best examples of food and beverage marketing.
In what would be their very first Vine upload, Malibu Rum shows us the power of a simple visual using the channel’s popular stop-motion video technique.
Bacardi UK uses the same stop-motion technique (it comes in handy with the medium’s short format) to show off one of its “six-second cocktails.”
Vine videos aren’t the most polished examples of B2C outreach, which might make some marketers nervous. In this example, Doritos embraces the rough-around-the-edges approach to announce the arrival of the Taco Bell Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco. Read more...
QSR diners want online ordering, but will restaurants provide it?
Quick service restaurants are known for their simple, in-and-out dining style (that’s why they’re called quick service), but some customers wish that access to service was even easier. According to a study conducted by Harris Interactive for EMN8, 42 percent of adults aged 18 and older would like the option of ordering their QSR meals online via computer. Three in 10 would prefer to place their order via smartphone.
“Consumers are extremely comfortable ordering goods online and, as generations grow up with mobile technology, they will increasingly want to engage with their favorite brands through this channel,” said EMN8 CEO Perse Faily. “Through our research, it’s clear that QSRs can reach a broader audience by adapting to these desires.”
It’s clear that consumers want the option of ordering online, but will restaurants offer it any time soon? Some already do, but most do not. And even if a restaurant does offer the service, will customers use it?
MARKETING LESSON: In an increasingly digital world, consumers are demanding an increasingly digital experience when it comes to your brand.
Taco Bell produces hilariously bad radio spots for just one dollar
How does a restaurant promote its low-budget menu items? One way is to create a series of equally low budget radio ads. That’s exactly what Taco Bell did to spread the word about its Dollar Cravings Menu. In fact, the ad agency behind the spots claims to have produced the ads for just one dollar. Whether that’s true or not (we doubt it), one thing’s for sure – the spots are funny.
Instead of hiring an expensive voiceover actor, Taco Bell enlisted the help of a cheap text-to-speech program. The result is a cheesy robot voice that hilariously mispronounces words like “radio” (“rah-dio”) and “tortilla.” And instead of signing off with the usual “Live Mas” followed by the brand’s signature bell sound, the robot literally says “Live Mas. Bell sound.” That joke alone is worth way more than a dollar.
Check out all three ads below.
MARKETING LESSON: Don’t have a big advertising budget? That’s okay, you can still make a splash for about 99 cents. Give or take $50,000.
Jack Link’s “Messin’ with Sasquatch” is advertainment gold
Most commercials attempt to highlight the appetite appeal of a product or focus on the various tasty attributes of a particular snack or drink. It makes sense, of course. That approach works if you’re targeting 38-year-old women, but if your target audience is 24-year-old men, you might skip right past the appetite appeal and opt instead for something a little more entertaining.
Jack Link’s Beef Jerky is a great example of this strategy. The brand’s “Messin’ with Sasquatch” and “Snackin’ with Sasquatch” ads have been in regular rotation for a couple of years now, and are among our favorite spots. They don’t bother with long, 30-second descriptions how the beef jerky tastes because, well, we all know what beef jerky tastes like. Instead, the spots star a grumpy Sasquatch – or Big Foot, if you prefer – who finds himself the butt of pranks played by foolhardy young men. (Spoiler alert: The ads never end well for the pranksters.)
In the most recent “Messin’” incarnation, Sasquatch receives a rude awakening from hibernation after some passersby decide to give him a makeover. As usual, he reacts with hilarious violence. Enjoy the spot below, followed by a few more of our favorite “Messin’ with Sasquatch” moments. Read more...