Having studied marketing in school, I have always been fascinated with the way food is marketed to consumers and the way we literally eat it up. Advertising companies know how to pander to our senses, figuratively and literally. The most cost-effective marketing is an idea that can be spread by word of mouth, and these food brands mastered the art of catching people’s attention. Here are my top seven intriguing food marketing campaigns.
1. McDonald’s Big Mac Lifestyle Collection
If you can’t afford the Moschino couture McDonald’s looks that hit the runways in seasons past and have been worn by Katy Perry, then don’t fret! McDonald’s is cashing in on that sweet, sweet brand lust by creating their own lifestyle collection based on the Big Mac. The collection was launched this week in Sweden and includes everything from clothing to wallpaper to bed sheets and the internet has gone viral since its release. Personally, I would be totally down for a Big Mac blanket or pair of leggings. What about you? Peep it all right here.
2. Burger King’s Flame-Grilled Whopper Fragrance
If the thought of a flame-grilled burgers gets you a little hot and bothered, then have no fear—Burger King has got you covered. In 2008, what many thought to be a hilarious marketing stunt was actually the first item in BK’s launch in the beauty world. Flame was developed and sold for $3.99 online and had the “scent of seduction with a hint of flame-broiled meat.” Fast-forward to 2015 and Burger King is back at it with their Flame-Grilled perfume being sold on April 1 in Japan for 5,000 Yen (about 40 bucks). Not my idea of a good smell, but hey. Whatever floats your boat, right?
3. 7-Eleven Bring Your Own Cup Day
Everyone knows that the best thing to get at 7-Eleven (besides the hot dog with nacho cheese on it, natch!) is the Slurpee. It’s totally iconic in it’s own right with delicious flavors like blue raspberry, cream soda, sour apple or orange pop. So it was a stroke of genius when 7-Eleven announced “Bring Your Own Cup; day which takes places in Canada, Australia and the US. The results for cups have been um, interesting to say the least. People have brought buckets, water coolers, Ziploc bags—you name it. Articles on Buzzfeed, I Can Haz Cheezeburger and Huffington Post Canada have produced some interesting results as well. Look for the next Bring Your Own Cup Day!
4. Pizza Hut Australia Limited Edition Nail Polish
As an avid food lover (and nail art addict), you don’t know how excited I was when I read about Pizza Hut’s new nail polish line. Part of a Valentine’s Day promotion this year for the Australian branch of the chain, a limited-edition range of nail polish was to be given away to 30 entrants who wrote the best ‘pizza’ poetry. With polish names such as Dough You Knead Me (in beige), Say Cheese (bright yellow), Voracious Veggie (neon green) and Sparkling Supreme (red sparkles), it combined all things trendy and fun.
5. The Kit-Kat Advent Calendar
I’m not going to lie, I still love cracking into an advent calendar regardless of my age. It’s one of those timeless traditions at the holidays that I just can’t quit. So when I came across this German campaign from Kit-Kat, all I could think was: “shut up, take my money!” Advertising itself as ‘24 Breaks before Christmas’, it’s the adult version of the advent calendar, and with decent chocolate.
6.”Colegate, Don’t Forget”
If I was a kid and received this, I don’t think I would be into this treat but it is ingenious! In Bangkok, to promote Oral Health Month, Colgate produced ice cream bars and lollipops to hand out at food festivals that had wooden toothbrush shaped handles that read “Don’t Forget”. So tricky and so wonderful.
7. Shreddies: Diamonds or Squares?
So much cereal controversy started when Shreddies (a breakfast cereal available in the UK and Canada) decided to rebrand from Shreddies in its original square shape format to Shreddies Diamonds. People were confused but loved the playfulness inspired by the brand, which translated into significantly higher sales and a 2008 Clio advertising award.
Amanda (Ama) Scriver is a full-time community builder and official ‘head bee in charge’ of the food, fat and feminism blog, Fat Girl Food Squad. When she isn’t busy kickin’ ass and takin’ names, she is having serious feels for all things coffee, hip-hop, the art of drag, Kardashians, pizza and Doritos. You can find more bylines from her at Eater, BizBash and Toronto is Awesome. Follow her on Twitter: @amapod.