This week, we look at some of the latest food-based promos. Visit our site each Thursday for a new list of niche campaigns from the past month.
The top 5 food campaigns you need to know about right now
5. Meatless Jerky
The first product from Planet Partnership—PepsiCo and Beyond Meat's collaboration—is a line of plant-based jerky snacks in original, hot and spicy and teriyaki flavors that mimic the taste, texture and protein content of their meat-based counterparts. Beyond Meat jerky contains 10 grams of protein per serving. It is made of pea and mung bean protein and contains no cholesterol, GMOs, soy or gluten.
A survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers gave marketers of the new offering promising news: nearly 13% said they would be “extremely likely” to purchase the new items in the next 30 days and another 28% said it was “likely” they would buy. This despite nearly half of those polled unaware the product even existed.
4. Pizza Hut’s Struggle Bus
All aboard, losers. Pizza Hut is delivering a message of sympathy for college hoops fans disappointed with their busted brackets and favorite teams eliminated in the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament.
Also see: March Madness and influencer marketing
A luxury cruiser outfitted with lounge areas, beds for power napping, videos, interactive selfie experiences and plenty of pizza is headed to New Orleans April 2-3, where the Final Four is to be contested. Then it's off to Athens, Georgia, April 28-29, where the “Struggle Bus” will provide relief for University of Georgia students prepping for exams. After all, being on the “struggle bus” is a way some people, especially Gen Zers and Millennials, refer to handling difficult or frustrating tasks.
On April 28, the bus will host Betches co-founder Jordana Abraham and comedian Jared Freid, who will cut an episode of their popular dating podcast “U Up?” dedicated to the struggles of dating. GSD&M is the lead agency on the project.
3. Sympathetic Macaroni
One winner means 67 losers is the insight behind special packaging from Kraft’s Macaroni & Cheese, which inverts the typically smiling noodle on the box front to play up the “comfort” in comfort food for fans whose basketball teams were bounced from the NCAA tourney.
The limited-edition “Basketbawl” boxes will be given away to fans outside of the Final Four games in New Orleans and offered free to fans watching at home who visit Basketbawl.com within one hour of the end of each of the final three games. The promotion was put together for Kraft by agency Johannes Leonardo.
2. New soldiers in the chicken sandwich wars
Panera Bread is the latest restaurant chain to enter the chicken sandwich wars, launching two offerings this week that build on the chain’s “warm and hearty” platform. The Chef’s Chicken Sandwich comes in a signature take and a spicy take, each starting at $10.99.
Panera executives see the new sandwich as a means to better attract male diners and younger consumers who have been enthusiastically gobbling up new chicken sandwich choices since Popeyes Louisiana Chicken stunned the industry with a phenomenally successful $3.99 introduction in 2019.
Also see: Chicken sandwich campaigns of 2021
Panera’s offering features a seared chicken fillet that is finished sous vide, topped with either parmesan chips or pickles, and served with garlic aioli and greens on a brioche roll.
The chain plans to run ads on linear TV, streaming audio and video, plus social channels and in movie theaters. Mother is handling the creative, with Super Bloom providing social support and Playground handling in-cafe creative. The packaging, a recyclable tear-away box that protects the integrity of the bun while keeping the sauce from escaping, was designed by Jones Knowles Ritchie.
Also see: Panera's first campaign from Mother NY
“Panera’s new Chef’s Chicken Sandwiches take the chicken sandwich to a whole new level, and we’ve carefully crafted our creative work to live up to our chef’s careful craft that went into the creation of the sandwiches themselves,” Drayton Martin, VP, brand building for Panera, said in emailed comments.
1. Doodle for the Win
Annie Rose, a therapy dog from Cincinnati, beat out a menagerie of competitors including horses, cats, birds, and hedgehogs to be named the winner of the fourth annual Cadbury Bunny contest. The white-haired English Doodle, known for visiting nursing homes around Cincinnati, will take home a $5,000 prize and be cast as the Clucking Bunny in this spring’s commercial for Cadbury’s Crème Eggs Easter treat.
Ten finalists were selected from thousands of entries by Cadbury executives (along with the contest’s previous winners: Henri the English Bulldog; Lieutenant Dan, a two-legged hound; and Betty the Treefrog) with the winner chosen in an online fan vote. Votes helped to raise $20,000 for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Hershey Co., which has the U.S. rights to the Cadbury brand, worked with Zeno Group on PR. Prize Logic administered the online voting.
Flashback: Mondelēz-owned Cadbury defends ad featuring gay couple sharing a creme egg