Do you ‘like’ those pictures of food that people post on their Instagram account or Facebook feeds? Here’s hoping so, given that I often post the odd foodie picture on my social media accounts – everything from posh nosh to last Friday’s dodgy instant noodles (#notmasterchef). I have recently given these piccies some food for thought (geddit?) and looked at the various marketing initiatives that tap into this behaviour.
The ingenuity of the Birds Eye Picture House pop-up restaurant that opened in London this May is one such marketing campaign that caught my eye. The idea behind it is that diners could pay for their meal with a photo. The campaign was designed to promote the frozen food brand’s newly-launched premium evening meal range. At the restaurant, customers were served a two-course meal and those opting to upload images of their food to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook using the #BirdsEyeInspirations hashtag, the meal was free of charge, and to help novice food picture takers (yes, that is right – not everyone has done it already!?) a food photographer was even on hand to give diners tips (and make the food look its best of course). In addition to opening The Picture House restaurant, the Inspirations range is also being promoted through a multi-media campaign including TV, digital, POS and a three month sampling campaign.
The Birds Eye approach is not unique, Weight Watchers also launched a pop-up cafe in London where consumers were also required to use social media as currency. The Feel Good Café is being used to showcase the Weight Watchers Foods product range and is offering all foods free of charge in exchange for visitors spreading the feel-good message via social media.
They even created this nice little yourtube clip to promote the idea: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=jTvrYp-90jo
An earlier example of how marketers have tapped into this existing consumer behaviour of posting food pictures was created by Ask CT Food, a free service from Sweden-based Asian food suppliers, CT Food. However the idea here was to engage the user in a way where Instagram can be seen to have a more functional benefit to them (whilst still selling their product of course). The Instagram users can submit an image of a dish they’ve enjoyed at an Asian restaurant, tagged with @askctfood, and the company will reply with a recipe and ingredient list. Each ingredient is linked to a hashtag and image, simplifying shopping for items.
And it is not just your everyday run of the mill brands that are utilising this approach, luxury champagne brand Moët & Chandon is inviting consumers to share snaps on Instagram using the hashtag #icechallenge to launch the new Moët & Chandon Ice Imperial drink .
For the next few months at the start of each month a new theme will be displayed and fans are asked to post a picture that best illustrates that theme, the June one being ‘Urban and Fresh’.
And way back in 2012, Ben & Jerry’s featured its fans’ best Instagram pictures in local marketing campaigns around the world. To participate, users needed to tag their ‘most euphoric’ pictures with the hashtag #captureeuphoria which automatically added them to an online gallery. The ice cream brand then selected the images which best demonstrate happiness, to be featured on posters, print ads and other marketing material in their local area.
These are all really interesting uses of how we can tap into an already present consumer behaviour via marketing activity. Now something I as a researcher need to think about is how we can also tap into what consumers are doing, in generating insights regarding how effective these communication campaigns can be.
This post was originally written for the Jigsaw blog: http://www.jigsawresearch.com.au/#welcome