Marketing Munchies


Header image that says "Ad Corner: Marketing Munchies" surrounded by a mix of food and marketing icons

In Ad Corner, we’ll take a look at famous advertising campaigns. We’ll analyze what they did and how we can apply those same principles to small business advertising.

Anyone who’s spent time in business knows that when a market is saturated with competition, it can be hard to break through and get noticed. Fast food, soda, and candy are all popular areas of industry and the competition is stiff. In this Ad Corner, we’ll talk about three food-related ad campaigns that managed to rise above their competitors and make a splash for their business.

Campaign #1: Share a Coke

Coca-Cola has been around since the 1890s. While having a long-established brand brings certain benefits, it can also present challenges as well. In the 2000s, Coca-Cola began experiencing a steady decline in sales. Like we noted in one of our previous Ad Corners, sometimes the best way to increase sales is to focus on people who already buy your product. Ogilvy (an Australian ad agency) did that very thing when they launched the Share a Coke campaign in 2011. They printed Coke labels with 250 of the country’s most popular names under the heading “Share a Coke with.” This encouraged customers to not only look for their own names, but to look for the names of their friends and family as well. The campaign worked so well in Australia that Coca-Cola decided to use it in over 80 other countries, boosting their sales worldwide.


Campaign #2: You’re Not You When You’re Hungry

In 2010, Snickers launched this memorable campaign with the above ad, featuring Betty White and Abe Vigoda. From there, they rolled out several more ads with celebrities appearing in unlikely settings. They were able to take a common problem—feeling crabby when you’re hungry (or hangry)—and offer the simple solution of eating one of their candy bars. Through humor and celebrity involvement, people paid attention to the ads and remembered that when you’re not feeling like yourself “Snickers Satisfies.”

Campaign #3: Where’s the Beef?

We’ve talked about some of Wendy’s marketing before and we know they’re not afraid to take shots at their competitors. They aren’t now and they weren’t in 1984 either. Without technically naming any names, Wendy’s points out the downside of their competitors’ burgers (a big, fluffy bun) while creating a funny and memorable ad that spun out into a year-long campaign. “Where’s the beef?” was such a successful line that Wendy’s had several promotional items, a song, a Milton Bradley game, and a few reprises of the campaign. In 2011, Wendy’s answered their own question with “Here’s the beef.” And, earlier this year, Wendy’s launched a similar campaign in Canada, using “Where’s the bacon?” to promote their breakfast sandwiches.


What We Can Learn

From Coca-Cola’s example, we can see the effects of personalization in marketing. It’s fun to get products with your name on them, whether it’s a keychain at the beach or a bottle of Coke at the store. We can also see the power of connecting people to other people. Snickers teaches us that presenting your product as the solution to a common problem can have a big impact. They identified that feeling hangry was an issue they could solve, and they found success when they told us they could solve it. And, finally, Wendy’s shows us that humor can go a long way, and that it’s important to distinguish your product from those of your competitors.

If you are a small business owner looking for help with your marketing, give us a call. Bold River Marketing can help you create a brand, manage your social media, and optimize your website so people can find your business with ease.

If you enjoyed this post, check out our previous Ad Corner, where we talk about marketing mascots.