Piece of Cake!

The time has come for my last post, how sad! Being the last post, I thought it would be fitting to focus on the future and what is to come for digital marketing. In terms of food of course!

A particular topic that has recently grabbed my attention was the concept of an online bakery. Its almost like buying clothing online, you browse through various product categories until you find the products that you prefer most, add them to your cart and then check out. Its hard to comprehend as we are accustomed to choosing the cake we see in the window or display and physically ordering it. But it seems more and more companies are ensuring they have an online ordering option therefore customers don’t have to do anything but click a button. With the Internet being a major source to make purchases for consumers today, this online option is an extremely clever and advantageous move. Not only are these businesses making themselves more available to consumers, but they are opening up the opportunity to create a larger target market. The Cupcake Bakery is a company that demonstrates just how this technique is being approached. As seen below, they provide a visual of their decadent cakes as well as clear and simple instructions as to how to make a purchase. Piece of cake right?!

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Sweet By Nature, a company I have mentioned in a previous blog post, just commenced their online bakery as well proving the scope of their business and promoting their versatility.

This new avenue created for consumers is being talked about on blogs, forums and on social media for example, http://spicedblog.com/5-online-bakeries-we-love.html Thus, these online outlets are being publicized and as result, so too are the companies.

Check out

http://thecupcakebakery.com.au/store/home.php?cat=3   or

http://www.sweetbynature.com.au/products.php

and let me know what you think about this idea!

If your like me you might even end up ordering something… I couldn’t resist.

Thanks for the comments throughout the semester guys! I hope I have inspired and informed you about the many ways food is marketed digitally and apologies if I encouraged any weight gain!

Signing out!

Adele

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It’s All Just a Game

No matter what, you’re never too old to play games. Even if they are mind-numbingly stupid and the solution is blatantly obvious, it’s hard to resist playing.

A number of companies have taken advantage of this humane weakness and incorporated games into their marketing strategy. Businesses such as McDonalds and Dominos have embraced the technological resource available to them to create a straightforward yet amusing option for their consumers. But the reason behind this approach is deeper than just to entertain. Games engage the consumer and allow them to interact with a particular brand on another level than just viewing an advertisement for example. Its purpose isn’t to promote in the eyes of the consumer, but to provide them with a source of entertainment.

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Instead of posting a deal, sale or advertisement through social media channels such as Facebook, posting and publicizing the brand by using a game is more intriguing and lets admit, more tempting to click on! Whilst scrolling aimlessly through my Facebook newsfeed, this is how I found out about the McCafe ‘Create your own Cappuccino Art’. As pictured above, you are given the chance to design your own personal cappuccino. As pointless as the game sounds, McDonalds is providing an alternative approach to market their products to consumers such as myself. With the presence of ads and pop-ups increasing on the social media avenues we utilize daily, we are slowly becoming numb and purposely ignorant towards them. Thus, this method has a better chance of grabbing the attention of consumers and hence why they have been adopted by a number of companies.

Dominos Pizza has also utilized this approach to market themselves but rather, as an employer, providing an interactive game on their careers page through their website as seen below. I gave the game a whirl and to be honest, I found it entertaining and simultaneously thought it was sending a decent message about the company as an employer. Thus a win-win for the consumer and the company!

Check out the game by clicking on this link:  http://www.dominosjobs.com.au/Assets/staticpages/play-our-game.html?TB_iframe=true&height=480&width=690

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Have you heard or played any other interactive games created by organisations? Do you think it’s advantageous for these companies?

The Yoghurt Craze

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(Sourced from Chobani’s Facebook page)

It seems that with the birth of Instagram, so too came the fascination and craze to promote ones fitness and healthy habits. I’ve also recognized the increase in blogs focused purely on this topic, and I can see why. Social media users worship this stuff! I’m definitely guilty of it myself, viewing others transformations, healthy recipes and fitness tricks and tips is inspiring, motivating and fascinating all at the same time.

With so many following, liking and sharing anything and everything to do with health and fitness, its no wonder brands like Chobani leaped at the opportunity to be apart of this and as a result, the brand has found themselves right at the centre of this recent craze. Their cover photo on their Facebook page is seen above.

Chobani is a brand of Greek yoghurt that comes in a variety of flavours and tubs. Overall, the brand promotes itself as a natural, authentic yoghurt that can be used in almost any dish as well as a healthy alternative for heavier, not-so-healthy ingredients. The CEO speaking in the video below sums up this image quite well.

 

The brand has pretty much placed themselves in the hands of their target market. Posting every single way Chobani can be used (both in savory and sweet dishes) through easy to follow recipes as well as simply showing how to use it as a healthy alternative to other ingredients all in that typical Instagram aesthetic, has made Chobani the “in” ingredient. Now, follows and health fanatics are sharing how they use Chobani as a healthy alternative or how successfully they replicated one of Chobani’s recipes to the rest of the social media world. Some have even labeled (or should I say hashtagged) themselves as #chobaniacs having their #chobanitime. And all over yoghurt!

At the end of the day, people are going to support those that support what they values, and that’s what Chobani does for so many.

Who knew that such a craze could start over a tub of bacterial fermentation?! Maybe that’s why the bacteria used to make yogurt are known as “Yoghurt Cultures”!

This article was informed by:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yogurt

http://chobani.com.au

http://chobani.com.au/community/blog/

Who is Mr. Pickle?

Okay, so my partner (Bianca) and I may not have exactly worked out Mr. Pickles identity, but we did make an attempt to portray him in our video below. 

For our instructional video, Bianca and I focused on the organisation we are all very familiar with, McDonalds. But more specifically, the initiative introduced by The Kelly Co. group called, The Pickle Club. Through the eyes of a pickle (quite literally!), we explain how The Pickle Club creates value through social media for its target audience (mainly being Monash students) as well as for the business. 

As Monash Caulfield students, it didn’t take very long for Bianca and I to hear about this initiative as fundamentally, it’s aimed at benefiting us students. In fact as soon as we did, we was downloading the app and liking their Facebook page immediately. Who could resist a free Mcflurry with a cheeseburger meal or a $1 large thick shake? It was the first thing that popped into our heads when brainstorming what organisations create value through social media as its clear that The Pickle Club does exactly that. 

Check out our instructional video below and share your thoughts! Has The Pickle Club created accessible value for you?

Google Does it Again!

When will Google stop being so darn innovative? The answer is… NEVER!

It seems that they are a bottomless pit of great ideas that when implemented, we think, how did we live without this before?!

I’ve just recently discovered their new Google Maps app for the iPhone, which I downloaded from the app store. Being my typical self, I was on my way to a particular destination but got lost so I searched directions on Google Maps. Before showing me my route, Google advertised their new app and gave me the option to download it or to ignore it (As seen below).

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Being in the frazzled state I was in, I chose to ignore it for the time being. However, I did take a mental note to download it at another time. And boy am I glad I did!

No longer do you have to search through the Internet to find a decent café, restaurant or pub close to home because now, the new Google Maps app does it for you! All you have to do is allow Google Maps to use your current location and then its as easy as clicking the search bar to choose whether you prefer to go to a café, restaurant or pub. Google then does the rest.  As seen below, I simply clicked on café’s and automatically the closest café’s are listed with all the vital information needed. Such as the name, rating, distance from current location, a number of reviews, opening times and a sneak peak of the place through a picture provided.

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Click on the cup for cafe’s            Scroll through the details of each Cafe          Check the distance

Not only is Google saving us time and effort searching, asking and reading up on different café’s restaurants and pubs, but it’s providing free marketing for small businesses in the local area. For example, I had no idea so many café’s were in my vicinity, Caffe De Barge, Rena’s Café, Sphere Café, the list goes on!

All these businesses have to do is ensure their online information is up-to-date so that Google can advertise and list it all on their new app.

Seeing the large variety of café’s I can choose from that I was unaware of before, has definitely motivated me to venture out of the few places I know and try the places suggested. According to Google, they’re not much more than a 5 minute drive away!

Has anyone else discovered this application and is loving it as much as me?!
Has it encouraged you to visit any restaurants, café’s or pubs you wouldn’t have before or didn’t already know about?

Food on the Tube

What’s not to love about cooking shows? I mean, seeing a visual of a recipe turn from a bunch of ingredients to a beautifully crafted, delicious meal beats following and interpreting a 50 year old recipe you found in one of your mums battered old cook books any day. Well, that’s what I think! Watching and learning step by step how someone attempts to cook a dish is so beneficial for one main reason:

– It reduces your chances of error.

At the same time, you get to interact with the show and enjoy watching the transformation of ingredients to a meal in around half an hour. The down side:

– You don’t get to enjoy the finished product.

A number of companies have acknowledged this fascination with cooking shows, but have made it accessible in avenues that are more relevant to today’s digital world. One of those avenues being, YouTube.

Barilla is an example of a brand taking advantage of this digital shift. It has released a number of short clips of previous MasterChef contestants conducting a live ‘cook-a-long’ in the Barilla kitchen with 3-5 ‘cooks at home’ that are being streamed live to the kitchen. Each clip is of a different contestant cooking an easy to follow meal for the viewers at home and the different viewers being streamed each time.

Check out one of the clips below of Amina from season 4:

As well as being a great way to gain quick tips and ideas from familiar and trusting characters in an accessible, readily available way, it’s also a clever way to promote the Barilla brand amongst everyday cooks at home. By establishing the Barilla kitchen and posting these homemade clips, the brand is encouraging everyday cooks such as those being streamed live, to be there own MasterChef. And with the help of Barilla, they easily can be.

This approach is beneficial to the brand as it is able to interact with its audience on a different level and in a unique way compared to others, one that is relevant to today and reaches a huge amount of people.

So, do you think this a good step taken by Barilla? Do you know of any other brands that are attempting something similar?

Food Blogging Success

It has become quite a trend now, woman, particularly mothers blogging their recipes, ideas and lives on the web or what is known as, ‘Food Blogging’. It may sound like a generalization, however in actual fact these blogs are popping up all over the place and to be honest, I’m thoroughly enjoying it.

When I get into the cooking or baking mood (which is pretty much all the time), and trying to seek out a good recipe, I used to always use the lazy option and google ‘Banana Bread’, or ‘lasagna’ and click on the first or second link that came up, those usually being taste.com or bestrecipe.com. However, recently I’ve discovered the value of using blogs created by woman who are kind enough to share their recipes and tips to the rest of the world. Not only are you introduced to a new way of approaching a recipe, but you are provided with personal insights and useful tips that the blogger has come across in their own experience that generic recipe sites do not provide. Simultaneously, improving the end result of your cooking efforts. Their interpretation of recipes and personal, quirky anecdotes to accompany them adds a new level of interaction especially with the general public given the opportunity to comment and ask questions about each post.

To me, it’s a win-win situation for the blogger and the reader. From the bloggers point of view, providing such insights and sharing aspects of their lives that revolve around these recipes, freely publicizes them as a person as well as their ideas and skills. They are given the opportunity to market themselves both socially and professionally. Look at The Baker Chick for example (my personal favourite blog), she was becoming the ‘go-to girl’ amongst her friends and family for cooking ideas so she decided to create a blog to easily share her tips and recipes and has made even more friends by doing so!

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http://www.the-baker-chick.com (images sourced from)

On the other end of the spectrum there’s the Hungry Australian and The Organic Kitchen whose blogs have allowed them to flourish professionally, being offered jobs, professional writing opportunities and interest in cooking classes.

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http://theorganickitchen.org (image sourced from)

http://hungryaustralian.com

Personally, I believe both the blogger and the reader gain a lot out of this new phenomenon of blogging, especially when it’s to do with food. Then again, anything to do with food is a win.

Do you follow, know or refer to any particular food blogs? Do you feel they are marketing themselves well by utilizing this social avenue?

Warning! May cause drooling

I’ve got a confession to make. I’m a chronic ‘foodographer’. Did I just make that term up? Yes, but I believe it’s the only way to describe and come to terms with this new addiction. It’s obvious I love my food, however recently it seems I love documenting my food even more. It appears however, that I am not the only one who’s hooked. In fact, foodographing is popping up on all platforms of social media only making me hungrier and consequently fatter. Luscious foods presented perfectly under flattering filters are to blame for this weight gain. But now I’m just being a hypocrite because I am the culprit, taking photos of the food I am eating is as addictive as the food being photographed!

I’ve recently discovered that its not only notorious social media users that have become ‘foodographers’, but businesses such as Sweet By Nature Cakes and Sette Bello. And I know exactly why. Marketing their decadent dishes in this way has a slightly different effect to the usual form of publicizing (like professional photographs, websites) and as a result, they are reaping even bigger and better benefits.

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(Sourced from Sette Bello’s Facebook page)                        (Sourced from Sweet By Nature’s Instagram)

Maintaining an Instagram account or Facebook page where amateur photos of professional food to the likers and followers of the pages, target us directly. By coming down to our level and replicating our posts, it is as if they are just another friend of ours posting a photo of a delicious meal they enjoyed on the weekend. I know when I see one of my friend’s foodographing, I think if its accessible to them, then it is to me too. This personalization means we no longer have to sit there drooling onto our phones thinking that’s the closest we will get to that sticky date pudding or that angus scotch fillet (I’m starting to salivate just thinking about it). Instead, it puts the food in reach, which means for foodies like me, that feeling of, I want that in my mouth NOW can be made into a reality. As you can see from the picture below, there’s not much difference between an Instagram users photo and a a restaurants photo.

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(Sourced from Instagram)

Check out Sette Bello’s Facebook page and Sweet By Nature’s Instagram and see if you think the same.

https://www.facebook.com/SetteBelloGlenWaverley

http://instagram.com/sweetbynaturecakes

Following and liking these pages has given me insight into these businesses on a different level to any other. Have you had a similar experience elsewhere? Do you agree that this new approach is an effective marketing strategy for these businesses?

To be Frank…

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(selfie of Frank- sourced from frank_bod Instagram)

Has anyone recently seen the sudden publication of getting down and dirty with this so called Frank? And the proclamation that he is a good substitute for a morning coffee? As a regular Instagram user, I quickly became aware of this, and sequentially became shocked and finally very curious. Those who I perceived as innocent and discreet were broadcasting their promiscuity to the virtual world, or so I thought.

I decided to look into it further and investigate into who this ‘Frank’ character was. In other words, have a good old stalk. To my surprise (and relief), I discovered this new craze was all over a body scrub, Frank Coffee Scrub in fact. Immediately, 2 things were clarified:

  1. Frank was not a sleazy womanizer and
  2. Coffee is the main ingredient in this new infatuation.

The combination of ingredients we are used to consuming rather than rubbing into our skin such as roasted and ground Arabica coffee beans, brown sugar, sea salt and almond oil is said to have some sort of miracle effect on your skin. It targets cellulite, stretch marks, smooth’s lumps and moisturizes to improve your overall skin tone and completion.

Regardless of whether Frank keeps his promise in doing this, boy has the social networking world gotten on the bandwagon of this upcoming product! Covering yourself in the dirt like product and taking a selfie in the process seems to be all the rage predominantly on the social network of Instagram (as seen below).

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(sourced from frank_bod Instagram)

This trend has clearly promoted other curious onlookers to try the product. Browsing through Frank’s Instagram, it was also clear that his regular posts were another driver of this curiosity. Images of flawless bodies wearing next to nothing looking effortlessly beautiful flooded the page indicating one thing; this is the result of Frank.

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(Sourced from frank_bod Instagram)

I’ve definitely got to hand it to him though, Frank is now in the bathrooms and on the bodies of many people who are happily and freely promoting him through social media and hence, marketing the product without even realising.

He may be a virtual hussy but frankly, this guy is one smart marketer!

Have you tried Frank? If so, what are your thoughts? Even better, have you taken a selfie with Frank?

Check out his website at:

http://frankbody.com

Check out his instagram at:

http://instagram.com/frank_bod

Its time we went on an ‘information diet’

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(Image  sourced from google)

I know, its not a great way to start a blog by calling everyone fat but don’t’ fret, it’s not the physical fat I’m referring to. Instead, it’s the very serious problem of ‘information obesity’ occurring in todays technology infatuated world. And similarly to the physical pandemic of obesity, it is predominantly and rapidly consuming the young generation of today ie. Us! The reasons behind this crisis is clear, we have (and the generations after us even more so) grown up with the web, have been exposed to social media at a younger age than any other generation, and have developed an attachment to this easily accessible technology like our life depends on it. However, as our virtual cellulite spreads further and double, triple and quadruple chins start to form, social media sites such as Facebook, search engines such as Google and other websites that are constantly visited are laughing while we eat up everything they feed to us both explicitly and subliminally through their sites.

In the same way that the overindulgent consumption of food can lead to obesity, the overconsumption of information that we are exposed to on a daily basis can result in ‘information obesity’. Whitworth (2009) defines this term and ideology as the use of information that has not properly been converted into knowledge to comfort and support us in our lives, minds and bodies. Like the endless amount of junk food products that line our supermarket shelves, a homogenous effect occurs with the abundant supply of information on these websites, social media channels and apps being utilized. And I agree, it’s hard to avoid their ubiquitous influence!

Ironically, this surplus of information has been labeled a contributor to physical obesity in the younger generation. This being due to a large fraction of the information distributed and consumed revolving around our greatest weakness, food. The ability of today’s technology to interact and actively engage its consumer through blogs, social media, apps etc. indicates the feasibility of making an emotional connection to their contents. As a result, we are engulfing the cyber junk being fed to us and consequently, real life junk!

An example of this ‘information junk’ in use can be seen below. It was as easy as logging on to Facebook to find this example, and refreshing the page to find another.

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Uploading these print screen shots to Photobucket, I found another, just like that! (screenshot of a video advertisement for an energy drink)

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Now think about all the different channels of social media you use, the sites you visit, the videos you watch, the blogs you read, and the list goes on. You are consuming a lot of content without even realizing it. Now, I don’t want to be the one to point it out but, I think its time we ALL went on and information diet, don’t you agree?

This post was informed by:

Jolly, R. (2011). Marketing obesity? Junk food advertising and kids. (Working Paper 9). Parliament of Australia.

Montgomery, K., Grier, S., Chester, J., & Dorfman, L. (2011). Food marketing in the digital age: A conceptual framework and agenda for research. Washington, DC: American University, School of Communication, Kogod School of Business.

Poiata, C., & Zimerman, R. (2013). Information obesity: Food for thought in the digital age. Digital Trends, 2-13.

Whitworth, A. (2009). Information Obesity. England, UK: University of Manchester.