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Food promotions that really deliver

December 7 2016

Sara Frey

We explore the world of food promotions in this week’s episode of Branding Bites! Stay tuned as Shawn and Kacha share strategies for creating successful stunts, ads, and unexpected extras.

Click play for their answers to questions including:

  • What types of promotions drive the most sales for QSR, fast casual, eatertainment, and casual dining brands? (at 1:06)
  • Did Cheetos make a good investment in its $20,000 jewelry stunt? (at :15)
  • Why bother with blossoming marshmallows? (at 3:02)
  • Why is Domino’s investing in wildlife? (at 3:15)
  • Will customers see the value in a wine bottle wrapped with a book? (at 3:36)
  • Is Allrecipes on target with its partnership with Amazon Echo? (at 4:05)

Rather read than watch? Check out the transcript below!

// Transcript

Kacha: Hello everyone and welcome to Branding Bites. My name is Kacha. I’m the strategy director here at Skidmore Studio.

Shawn: Hi, I’m Shawn. I’m the design director, and I have literally been waiting all week for this. I know you don’t believe me but let’s go ahead and get started.

Kacha: No, I really do believe you. Because we’re going to talk about Cheetos.

Shawn: Ah, my favorite thing in the world.

Kacha: Really, Cheetos?

Shawn: Not really, but let’s go.

Kacha: They’re good chips though.

Shawn: I do like them.

Kacha: Alright, here’s the thing. Cheetos recently announced that they had created a $20,000 jewelry set. What do you think about that? Cheetos, a chip brand, creating jewelry.

Shawn: I think it’s brilliant. They have taken $20,000 and earned untold amounts of media.

Kacha: Yeah, absolutely.

Shawn: I mean, how many times have this been shared, been watched, been seen by people who otherwise wouldn’t be looking at videos about Cheetos. I think it’s brilliant.

Kacha: It’s a great move because for them as a brand, they’ve always been super edgy. Super aggressive, Chester the Cheetah has always done really cool things.

Shawn: It’s edgy and it’s fun. It’s dumb. They’re not taking themselves seriously and they’re doing it just right. They’re doing everything they should be.

Kacha: Yeah, I totally agree.

Shawn: Fantastic job. I love it. And I have a question for you. In the restaurant space, what types of promotions drive the most sales?

Kacha: We get this question a lot when we’re talking to clients.

Shawn: We do get this question a lot.

Kacha: Promotions that drive sales, let’s focus by category. Fine casual and casual, I think if you tie it to a special menu, a special menu item, a limited time offer, and you give a very special invitation to your audience, I think that’s a win. No coupon. Just, we have a special thing. Come in and enjoy it for a limited time.

Shawn: A special thing to you and your brand.

Kacha: Yeah, absolutely. Different category: QSR. I think there it is different. There, you can get in that coupon space. You find that very special, unique signature item and you do a BOGO on it, or you do some really great, limited time deal that people are like, “Oh, I love that thing anyways I might come in and get two of them.”

Shawn: I’m smiling because the best three words just came to me: adult happy meals. We’ve had Pokemon Go. Cheetos did some onesies to go with their diamonds. I think it’s time.

Kacha: All right, adult happy meal, I’m in for that. The last category I would talk about is eatertainment. We’ve worked with eatertainment clients where we’re going to have a good time and eat at the same time. I think that you’re going to drive sales by focusing your promotions around events.

Shawn: Yes.

Kacha: Remember the college game day thing we did where we invited people to come to the store, enjoy a meal, enjoy appetizers, drinks, watch the game, spend the whole Saturday afternoon? Things they’re going to do anyways. Have them do it at your place.

Shawn: Connect the thing that they love to your brand.

Kacha: Absolutely. Okay. Now is the time when we transition to Bittie Bites. Bittie Bites is this time when we pull things out of this magical envelope that have happened in the food, beverage, and branding space in the last week, and we give it a thumbs up or a thumbs down.

Shawn: This is the part I’ve actually been waiting for all week. This is the good stuff.

Kacha: Shawn’s going to pull some things out and we’re going to see what develops. What do you got?

Shawn: We’re going to go right up the top. Flowering marshmallows. These are the coolest things ever made.

Kacha: Yeah. Okay. I love this. It’s so beautiful.

Shawn: Super Instagrammable. Perfect. 15 seconds of just pure joy.

Kacha: What a great experience.

Shawn: Domino’s delivery reindeer.

Kacha: Okay. You guys heard Domino’s wants to deliver pizzas via reindeer which I think it great because Domino’s is a delivery company, not a pizza company.

Shawn: It’s great right now. Thumbs up, but I’m waiting for the second half of the story when they come up with a reindeer that can fly. It sounds a lot like Rudolph Part 2.

Kacha: I can’t wait.

Shawn: Looking forward to the sequel. Next: Libertalia wine bottles wrapped with stories.

Kacha: Yeah. You have a small bottle of wine and you’re reading a story as you’re drinking your wine.

Shawn: That’s the idea.

Kacha: I think it’s a great mashup of fine wine culture and philosophy and reading and literature. I love it. I think it’s great.

Shawn: This feels like a much more serious take on the Cheetos diamonds. I think it’s a neat thing, but as a brand, not buying it.

Kacha: Okay, all right.

Shawn: Allrecipes’ partnership with Amazon Echo.

Kacha: Oh, yeah, the Echo. Okay. Can we separate this for a second?

Shawn: Sure. Do whatever you want.

Kacha: Echo over here, Allrecipes partnership over here. Echo is weird because it’s listening to you all the time. But Allrecipes partnering with it, it’s such a great use of that technology especially in the food space. It’s seamless.

Shawn: This is the first time I’ve wanted an Amazon Echo. Brilliant.

Kacha: Yeah, I can just call out, “Hey, what’s the next step, Alexa?

Shawn: Thumbs up.

Kacha: All right. This has been great. Thank you everybody. Come back next week. We’ll be doing Branding Bites again. If you have any questions, please send them to us @SkidmoreStudio on Twitter and we’ll see you next week.

Shawn: Thanks everybody!