Chefs Eric Ripert and Anthony Bourdain have collaborated to create a chocolate bar for Eclat Chocolates. The “Good & Evil” bar ($18) is made with rare Peruvian cacao beans and cocoa nibs. This is gourmet chocolate taken to a whole other level. I hope chef collaborations like this happen for more food products in the future.
(source: Zagat blog)
As Election Day is upon us, yes it is time for us to reflect back on the presidential campaigns and debates, but it is also time for us to reflect on the election themed food marketing campaigns. Many businesses, especially during the last one to two months, have used the event of the presidential election as a way to leverage their product and their brand. Here are some examples of popular brands that have done big election themed marketing campaigns:
7 Eleven has taken the approach of the classic red vs. blue, or in technical terms republican vs. democrat. In their “7 Election” marketing campaign, 7 Eleven has been selling red coffee cups with Romney’s name on them and blue coffee cups with Obama’s name on them. The campaign encourages customers to buy the color coffee cup of which candidate they support.
This is the fourth time 7 Eleven has done the “7 Election”. The first time they did this marketing campaign was in 2000. This marketing effort with their coffee cups is 7 Eleven’s own way of predicting the winner of the presidential election. Through out the course of the campaign 7 Eleven keeps track of how many of each color cup are sold. This is turn creates a polling system for 7 Eleven to predict a winner of the “7 Election”. Ironically, in the last two elections the presidential candidate who has been the winner of the “7 Election” has also been the winner of the presidential election. See the statistics below:
Of course, 7 Eleven hasn’t forgotten that you can’t have coffee without donuts. This year they have even been selling red iced “Republi-crème” and blue iced “Donu-crat” star shaped donuts. This photo is courtesy of my friend Kate:
The tagline for the “7 Election” of this year was “Vote Quality”. 7 Eleven has used the election to both make an interactive, multi-dimensional campaign while at the same time highlighting their products.
Ben & Jerry’s
Ben and Jerry’s has always been a brand to publicly support causes it’s passionate for. The presidential election is certainly one of those causes for Ben and Jerry’s. Each election Ben and Jerry’s has taken a stance on a particular topic. They do this to both express something they feel like needs to be changed and also to provide the opportunity to let their customers’ voices be heard.
This year Ben and Jerry’s presented the “Here’s the Scoop” topic of “Get the Dough Out of Politics!”. They educated their customers about how too much corporate money is being spent in elections. The Supreme Court’s decision to approve Citizens United “gave corporations the green light to spend limitless sums of money to influence our elections”.
Through handing out brochures and creating educational videos, Ben and Jerry’s aimed to get people in touch with their elected representatives to file a constitutional amendment to the Supreme Court to overturn Citizens United.
Ben & Jerry’s did some more light-hearted promotions as well. Their Ameri-Cone Dream flavored ice cream, which was created by Stephen Colbert during the 2008 election, was highlighted during the election season, and the packaging was made with an election theme. They also sold a limited-time sundae made with the flavor in their stores.
Boston Market has also tapped into creating a campaign emulating the battle of the two political parties. During election season Boston Market hosted the “Bowl Poll”. Customers could vote on which protein, chicken or turkey, would become the main ingredient in their new Market Bowls. Chicken was the “left wing” party and turkey was the “right wing” party.
The chicken and turkey each had their own campaigns, including videos for each, similar to a presidential candidate commercials you see on TV. Each video was done in a humorous manner where they had a chicken and turkey pretending to get people’s votes and stating why each is the best choice for the Market Bowl.
Through this campaign Boston Market was able to make consumers have a voice in creating a new product. At the same time it was able to highlight it’s signature products, which are its home style, freshly cooked meats.
Chocolate Tones from Pantone
The 2012 Olympics is the global event of the summer as we cheer on the world’s best athletes. Most importantly though it is a chance to highlight each country, it’s culture, and allow the world to come together and celebrate in unity.
I found this photo today of “National Flags Made From Food”. While my first thought seeing this was how relevant it is to the Olympics and of course how delicious all the flags look, I also felt this photo emulates how the Olympics celebrates the uniqueness of every country. Each flag is not just made from any food it is made up of food that is prominent to that country and it’s culture. All the flags in this photo have been brought to life in a new and edible way.
Now when it comes to which one I would want to eat the most, that’s a tough decision. I’m thinking because of my sweet tooth I would choose the British flag made of scones, clotted cream, and jam. How appropriate since the 2012 Olympics are in London.
Which of these flags looks the most delicious to you?
[I originally wrote this post for the Antler Agency blog.]
While some people may have an Instagram addiction, this app is no longer just used for bringing out your inner photog. Instagram has evolved into a strategic social media marketing tool. A type of people who have recently utilized this Instagram trend are chefs.
Chefs are not posting their usual content and recipes but rather giving followers an inside look into their chef lifestyle. Instagram has become a tool for chefs to create conversation within a niche community. In many ways it is being used as an extension of their personal brand.
Here are three prominent chefs that are using Instagram:
Matthew Jennings is a Providence, RI based chef that creates a farm-to-table dining experience at his restaurants. Part of his personal brand involves using local ingredients, and he uses Instragram to highlight that about himself.
“Amongst us chefs, sometimes the fun of posting a picture on Instagram is for straight up bragging rights,” says Jennings in an interview on the Instagram blog. Pictures he posts such as the two below (of Rhode Island raised NY strip steak and plated beef tartare in roasted marrowbone) are able to show his “bragging rights” of the quality meat he gets from local cows.
Jennings says pictures like this spark conversation amongst foodies, who want to know what he is cooking, and his chef friends, who want to know about where he’s getting his meats. By showing things like his cooking process, Instagram is a way for him to “infect” other people with his passion for food.
Richard Blais is now has celebrity chef status after making it to the final two in Top Chef: Chicago, then winning Top Chef: All Stars. He’s now in progress of being filmed for Bravo’s new show Life After Top Chef.
Blais uses Instagram to share his life behind scenes with his foodie followers. He expresses his knowledge and other interests in food by sharing pictures of products and cooking tools he likes. He recently posted a picture of this Le Creuset pot he likes to use.
Blais also gives an inside look outside the kitchen on Instagram by posting pictures of his wife and children, giving followers the opportunity to peak behind the scenes of his home life.
Household name Jamie Oliver uses Instagram to fuel efforts for his Food Revolution Campaign, which tackles the issue of childhood obesity and changing food options in schools. Not only is he using Instagram as a platform to get the word out about his cause, but he also uses it to create conversation about the issue. He gets his fans and followers engaged so they can be informed.
Oliver received the Healthy Cup Award from the Harvard School of Public Health for his efforts in ending childhood obesity. That day before he received the award, he posted the below photo where he directly asked for followers to comment and let him know their thoughts.
Through uses like this Jamie Oliver is able to be an influencer while at the same time allowing his followers to be influencers as well. Of course he couldn’t go through the day without also posting a picture of him with the award!
Overall, chefs who use Instagram are able to create more of a community than chefs who are just posting pictures through Twitter, Lockerz, Who Say, etc. Instagram is a great visual marketing tool for chefs because they are able to create a conversation by bringing together people ranging from peers in their industry to fans, food lovers, and food enthusiasts. With Instagram chefs have the ability to share their knowledge and passion with people who have similar interest.
Do you follow any chefs on Instagram? Who is your favorite, and why?