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How Big Food Industry Brands are Revamping Their Image with the Help of Bloggers
Posted on November 6th 2013
We all know that blogger outreach is a useful tactic for brand awareness but I’m starting to see more and more brands enlist the help of the bloggers to revamp their image.
This trend has become apparent particularly in the food realm lately. I’ve come across many campaigns executed by well-known food brands who utilize bloggers to modernize their image and/or spread the word about a new product.
Check out these fantastic examples of food brands working hand in hand with bloggers to spread word of mouth experiences, recommendations and positive brand experiences.
In an effort to revamp and modernize their restaurant’s image, Red Lobster has been hosting dinners for bloggers all over the country. They are being praised on the professionalism of the entire process from start to finish.
Their PR pros contact bloggers on a personal level, allow them to bring a plus one, let them order anything on the menu and provide superb service at the dinner.
Thus, instead of bloggers receiving a simple gift card which would lead to a decent post, the posts about the dinners emphasize the friendliness of the staff and the new gluten free and even vegetarian menus. They are much more dynamic than a post that would usually result from a simple gift card.
Chuck E Cheese’s
Chuck E Cheese’s wanted to modernize their image with the promotion of programs that not many moms were aware of such as their gluten-free pizza and rewards calendars. They enlisted the help of M/C/C, an integrated marketing agency, to help them further their image and promote their lesser known programs and food options.
M/C/C used GroupHigh to find influential mom bloggers who were family focused and offered them gift cards so that the moms could take their entire families to Chuck E Cheese’s and personally try out the newer items.
Chuck E. Cheese’s was able to connect with more than 650 mom bloggers who promoted the brand to their network of millions of other moms!
Through the mouths of bloggers, Pizza Hut wanted to show the world an inside look at their brand and give the company a more complete and humanized image. So, they recently flew bloggers to Austin to promote their new 3-cheese stuffed crust pizza.
They were given a tour of a Pizza Hut in the area and even driven to a party sponsored by pizza hut. Of course they sampled the new 3-cheese stuffed crust pizza accompanied by an open bar!
The blog posts that Pizza Hut earned from the blogger event mentioned the new pizza mostly in a favorable light while some were even critical. But the focus here is that the majority of the posts encompassed an entire experience with Pizza Hut as the focal point. It made for much more interesting posts than “I ate at Pizza Hut and it made my belly happy.” Right?
As far as blogger outreach is currently concerned, the norm is to send a blogger a free product—a free pizza or gift card—but Pizza Hut definitely took it a lot further than that and for that and it made their earned posts stand out.
In an effort to add an element of health to their image, Food Lion teamed up with Theory House, an agency who contacted bloggers in the Baltimore area. They hosted a blogger cook off at a local Baltimore restaurant where bloggers were challenged to cook a healthy dinner using only Food Lion brand ingredients for a family of four.
Jim Cusson, president of Theory House, stated that many of the bloggers came in as influencers and left as advocates for Food Lion’s brand. What can be better than that?
Since Food Lion’s blogger cook off was another all-encompassing brand experience as opposed to sending bloggers a gift card it generated thousands of social media impressions during the actual event and many blog and social posts followed.
Wendy’s recently launched their “sweet made sweeter” campaign where they reached out to bloggers to help them spread the word that their popular Frosty dessert now comes in a cone.
Their marketing team sponsored mom and style bloggers to go to Wendy’s and try the new Frosty in a cone and they then were tasked to write a post about a nostalgic memory that the Frosty evoked. The posts also included photos of themselves and even children when applicable eating said Frosty.
Because Wendy’s isn’t a client of mine, I can’t speak of the results but I’d go as far as to bet my next pay check that the campaign got many new families through their doors and drive-through windows. You can check out a short blurb and links to some of their blogger’s posts.
The reason this campaign sticks out is because of the step further Wendy’s took the posts. Sure they didn’t host an event like some of my other examples but they gave it that extra personal touch when they asked the bloggers to write about a nostalgic memory that eating the Frosty in a cone evoked. It makes readers look at Wendy’s in a totally different light.
What are your thoughts on using blogger outreach to revamp a brand’s image? Do you have any examples of brands that have done this well?