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Social Listening: Who's Got The (Turkey) Bacon?

You know it’s got to be bikini season when the social convo heats up about dieting. But, admittedly, this vegan is the last to have surmised that “turkey bacon” would be a hot trending topic during the annual battle of the bulge seasonal ritual.  

If you’ve ever “listened” to bacon or turkey bacon on a social intelligence platform, then you already know that the “bacon wars” are alive and well—year round.  Mostly on Twitter (94% for turkey bacon), but also in body conscious, weight management (, health (, fitness (, and foodie forums and blogs. 

Since I mostly follow raw food forums, I was both clueless and curious not only about the sheer volume of consumer turkey bacon insights available in social media, but more so about the “Baconry” culture, its language, consumer attitudes compelling their predilection for turkey bacon.  Health benefits? Weight reducing? Creative culinary staple? Material for comedic shtick?  Yep, all the above.  And more.

But first, check out some of the choice actionable social insights nuggets ready for plucking, which I found in a cursory NetBase social analysis of turkey bacon.  Imagine the marketing potential of the plucky Twitter imagery evoked by bacon purists, protesting blasphemy to the “art of Baconry,” such as:

“Turkey bacon is an insult to the bacon gods”

“Turkey bacon is an insult to pork.” 

“Turkey bacon is an insult to the art of Baconry." THAT and Turkey Sausage pisses me off.  How dare they ruin such perfection?”


 turkey bacon

Or, these emotion laden Tweets, rife with suggestive creative connotation (I can just see the turkey’s expression):

“Fun Fact: The main ingredient in turkey bacon is broken dreams.”

“OK, I admit it. The concept of ‘turkey bacon’ makes me sad.”

“Turkey bacon makes me SO ANGRY.”

“Turkey bacon is an abomination. In fact it's not even a real thing.”

And from the opposing flock:

“Turkey bacon is a gift from the Gods.”

“I just want the pleasant smell of turkey bacon to drift into my nostrils.”

"I bet turkeys were really bummed when they invented turkey bacon." I freaking love turkey bacon.”

“True life: I'm addicted to turkey bacon.” 

I digress. With entire populations looking not only for healthier food options, bacon’s stepchild, turkey bacon, has come under significant social media scrutiny by consumers, according to our NetBase discovery.  And manufacturers like Oscar Mayer are back in the turkey bacon game, too, by all indications trotting for greater market share.  

social listening

In a nod to the animated social passion evoked by bacon aficionados, Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon recently launched a fully digital ad campaign called “Unsung Bacon,” featuring the actor Kevin Bacon’s brother, Michael Bacon.  Since Michael—an accomplished composer, musician and Emmy winner—apparently has less klout or name recognition than Kevin, the campaign appeals to folks to help him “become the most followed Bacon in his family.”  A clever brand recognition marketing initiative, Oscar Mayer's "Unsung Bacon" also enlists foodie activists in its engaging campaign.

Since this is a social listening blog, I must admit that I analyzed a full year’s data and did find a major blip on the sentiment radar.  Discovery:  What happened the last half of April to drive turkey bacon social sentiment down from a one year 35% average to an annual low of -35%?  Insight:  Well, it appears that this post by Jim Gaffigan, an influencer with over two million Twitter followers, went viral, causing turkey bacon sentiment to plunge:

"@JimGaffigan: Interesting Fact: Turkey bacon is the source of 70% of all the disappointment in our lives."


 word cloud

James Christopher "Jim" Gaffigan is an American stand-up comedian, actor, and author. His memoir, Dad Is Fat, was published in 2013, by Crown Publishers.  Gaffigan’s arguably “got the bacon” in social media—he’s a true baconomedian, if I might say so—with a fairly fat portfolio of viral bacon videos to his name.  It seems when baconologist Gaffigan isn’t dishing out bacon shtick to his audiences, he’s concocting an amazing volume of bacon recipes on his blog

I was surprised and intrigued by my social media foray into turkey bacon -- the rich consumer insights, virtues sung, even all the unfettered social indignation toward turkey bacon.  All of which offer marketing innovation potential based on the sizzling bacon cackle.  Who will have the last gobble among the rafter of competitors?


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