Ad Review: Let Us Sing of Oscar Mayer's 'Unsung Bacon'

Integrated Effort Shows What Can Be Done With Sizzling Content and Smart PR

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I'm not sure I get the point of bacon marketing. It's like advertising oxygen. The power of bacon should be self-evident.

I just assume that everyone (unless you have religious reasons or are a vegetarian) eats bacon.
But for any number of reasons -- battle for market share as "artisanal" bacon enters the sector, the threat of Americans switching to sensible diets -- bacon marketing exists.

And in the hands of Oscar Mayer and 360i with PR support from Olson, it is a delicious thing.

The most recent effort is a campaign for turkey bacon -- which isn't even real bacon. It's a pretender to the throne, something your doctor grudgingly allows you if you're so pigheaded you resist her pleas to give up pig belly.

Oscar Mayer doesn't quite cop to that, neither does the company run away from it entirely. In fact, "Unsung Bacon" embraces the fact that turkey bacon is seen as something secondary.

So the company has turned to Michael Bacon, the mostly-unknown brother of Kevin Bacon. Being second fiddle doesn't make Michael any less interesting. In fact, once you're done watching the charming video associated with "Unsung Bacon," you might think Michael Bacon -- Emmy winner, musician, composer and Caesar-salad master -- could give Dos Equis' Most Interesting Man in the World a run for his money.

"Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon has been overshadowed by its bacon brother for far too long," explains the copy on UnsungBacon.com. "That's why it's helping Michael Bacon and Unsung Bacons everywhere get the recognition they deserve."

To that end, Oscar Mayer is trying to help Michael become the most-followed bacon in his family on Twitter. At last check, Kevin had 431,000 and Michael had 1,858. (Retweeting 360i's scintillating nuggets about ad tech probably isn't helping.)

"Unsung Bacon" is yet another installment from the Oscar Mayer Institute for the Advancement of Bacon, creators of "Wake Up and Smell the Bacon," which turned your smartphone into a bacon-scented alarm clock, and "Say It With Bacon," which packaged bacon in fancy velvet boxes. These were predated by "The Great American Bacon Barter," in which a penniless man drove across the country bartering bacon in exchange for a night on someone's couch and other goodies.

In other words, a product that doesn't need much advertising has some of the best-conceived, well-executed and, importantly, most-fun integrated marketing -- digital, experiential, PR, video, social -- seen in the last four years. And it isn't on TV. Go figure.

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