Dunham said she sent a direct message on Instagram, and hoped for the best.
“It turns out they are a fan of ours,” LaVitola said.
Wilc-O’s is a vegan and gluten-free cinnamon cereal made in honor of Wilco singer Jeff Tweedy’s go-to tour-bus food. The package, from maker Off Limits, features a caricature of Tweedy digging into a bowl with a guitar in hand. Jesus Don’t Cry, featuring a cartoon of Wilco consoling the son of God, comes from Chicago brewer Great Central Brewing.
The pop-up store launches today at Foxtrot’s location in Chicago's Old Town neighborhood and features merchandise like a tour jacket, a t-shirt and a shopping bag referencing a line in Wilco’s “Jesus Inc.” reading “You Can Come By Anytime You Want.” A few boxes of cereal at the pop-up shop will come with a prize inside—a 7-inch vinyl single featuring an alternate take of “I’m the Man Who Loves You,” signed by Tweedy. Products can also be purchased at Foxtrot Anywhere, the retailer's e-commerce site.
Foxtrot and Wilco are promoting a concert at The Hideout, a Chicago music club, on April 21. Wilco is not on the bill but is “curating” the show, which includes local bands DEHD and Tenci. Wilco is departing for a tour celebrating the “Yankee” album that begins April 23, the same day that the album was released in 2002.
“Chicago is a special place, full of neighborhoods and communities that create a real sense of belonging unlike anywhere else I’ve ever been,” Tweedy said in emailed comments. “Foxtrot embraces this sense of community and we’re excited to partner with them as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of our album in this great city.”
Foxtrot’s previous brand collaborations have primarily been with area restaurants and chefs. The Wilco collaboration is teaching the company about experiential marketing and the connections between art and food, Dunham said.
“From a strategy perspective, there is something that is immediately accessible about both music and CPG products, and we think that's a really interesting place to experiment in culture,” Dunham said. “We’re also learning about the ability to think through a marketing program that’s not just a product, but an experience, and that also connects with a new audience.
“We started in fandom, and we often think of our marketing strategy as being so obsessed with our customers that we want to create a feeling that we’re fans of them, and they are fans of us, we often use that as a sounding board for how we think about product launches and campaign launches,” she continued. “We're not just celebrating ourselves but we're celebrating the communities that we're in and that speaks to our neighborhood appeal.”
Dedicated to “curation and convenience,” LaVitola co-founded Foxtrot as a combination of a shopping app and physical store in 2018. The brand now has stores in Chicago and Washington, with plans this year to expand to 32 stores overall, including new markets of Dallas and Austin, Texas.
Subscribe to Ad Age now for the latest industry news and analysis.