Today’s consumers want brands that aim to connect with them rather than talk at them. At packaged-foods company Bar-S, we respond to this need for relevance and salience by understanding that we are a household name that our consumers are proud of. This effort is exemplified in our Iconic Summer Mashup campaign that first debuted in 2021, featuring a 360-degree integrated effort surrounding a parody music video.
On June 1, we launched Iconic Summer Mashup Volume 3 where we created the first-ever all-female ‘80s parody rock band composed of some of social media’s most popular musicians. The Grillin’ Maidens came together to cover the song “Cherry Pie” by glam metal band Warrant in this summer’s grillin’ anthem, “Bar-S Guy.” The music video brings nostalgic elements of classic ‘80s “hair bands” to a backyard grillin’ party.
When developing this year’s Iconic Summer Mashup, we were aiming to answer one key question: How do we adapt our brand narrative to the fast-evolving media landscape where creators dominate our attention across the country’s top video-first social media platforms?
Spark nostalgia through sound-on marketing
First, we knew we wanted to employ the power of sound-on marketing to help build a strong and emotional connection with our target demographic. Research showed that our core audience would recognize and relate to a nod to the ‘80s or ‘90s, decades that produced some of the most iconic songs we know today. We knew that the same nostalgic energy, paired with the parody nature of our campaigns, would establish a relationship with the next generation of consumers, it also would help our audience connect with their children while showing that we can all afford to take ourselves a little less seriously.
Eighties rock holds a special place in the hearts and minds of our consumers, and we love that we were able to build a band from stars on TikTok, YouTube and Instagram who were all born well after the 1980s. It shows the real power of music and song to capture the attention of different generations.
Let the experts spread the word
Few brands know the social media landscape as well as the influencers who are dedicating their careers to excel in these platforms. But today’s influencers are more than amplification outlets. For volume 3, we made the decision to center our campaign on influencers as talent and creators first, and then to layer in their channels and audiences to really ensure there was an authentic collaboration and connection.
Our team recognized the immense talent pool of musicians across TikTok and Instagram and realized we had an opportunity to build a band of our own. The Grillin’ Maidens is made up of creators of various sizes with audiences ranging from 9,000 to 2.4 million followers, each with different levels of professional musician experience. They include:
- Co-lead singer Betty Maxwell, a 2022 American Idol contestant and Miss America in 2016.
- Co-lead singer Ashley Argota Torres, an American actress and singer who has carried notable roles across Nickelodeon, Netflix and Freeform.
- Guitarist Sophie Lloyd, who has amassed a following of millions from her catalog of "shred" covers, her own original material, and who is known for her time on the road as Machine Gun Kelly's guitarist.
- Bassist Moa Munoz, currently the bassist for Olivia Rodrigo.
- Drummer Kennedy Jardine, a junior at Pepperdine University who grew a following of over 2 million on TikTok after teaching herself how to play drums during the pandemic in 2020.
In addition to starring in the song and music video, each bandmate shared a pre-hype video, a version of the official music video, and a BTS video across TikTok, Instagram and YouTube to offer a more-relatable perspective and help support the overall reach of the campaign.
If the results of the past two campaigns have taught us anything, it's that the Iconic Summer Mashup series has helped us connect and build a rewarding community with our target audience. This approach represents our commitment to meeting the ever-changing expectations of our consumers. By leveraging the power of sound-on marketing and influencer partnerships, we have not only sparked a positive emotional connection but also have demonstrated the impact music can have across generations, all while successfully positioning Bar-S as a prized household name.
With the recent launch of “Bar-S Guy,” we are excited to see how our influencer partnerships will contribute to the overall reach and performance of the campaign.