Branded videos and virtual reality

There is a lot of focus on branded video content in the food marketing space right now. Take Chipotle’s School of Guac, Cap’n Crunch’s Earliest Show, and Jack in the Box’s Cravings Hotline for example. In this week’s episode of Branding Bites, Shawn and Kacha discuss branded video content and its role in the food and beverage industry.

Click play for their answers to questions including:

  • Is branded video a good tactic for the Gen Y and Gen Z audiences? (at :40)
  • How can food and beverage brands that don’t have the money to partner with Funny or Die produce their own video content? (at 3:25)
  • Will Jack in the Box’s 360-degree virtual reality experience appeal to millennials? (at 5:34)

Rather read than watch? Check out the transcript below!

// Transcript

Kacha: Hi everybody. Welcome to Branding Bites. My name is Kacha and I am the strategy director here at Skidmore Studio.

Shawn: Hi. I’m Shawn, the design director. We’ve got just one topic today, but it’s a good one. Let’s go ahead and get started.

Kacha: Yes, one topic. All right, Shawn, I’m going to say two words: branded content.

Shawn: I love it.

Kacha: Okay. Here we go. Branded content and especially branded video content.

Shawn: Sure.

Kacha: Huge right now. And getting a lot of traction in the food industry- food and restaurants. For example, Chipotle School of Guac. Have you seen that?

Shawn: Yep. I have seen it.

Kacha: Cap’n Crunch’s Earliest Show?

Shawn: Oh boy.

Kacha: And Jack in the Box’s Cravings Hotline.

Shawn: There’s a lot to dig into.

Kacha: Okay, so we set the table. First, are these concepts a good fit for Gen Y and Gen Z?

Shawn: They are a great fit, done right, as always. I think Gen Z might benefit a little bit more from the branded video content, but you can definitely hit that Gen Y market too.

Kacha: Okay. So, I’m with you. Gen Z, I would say absolutely, you’ve nailed it. They’ve grown up all their life consuming video.

Shawn: All the time.

Kacha: So give them just fun and games and goofiness. Okay? But Gen Y, be careful, right? Because we don’t know … We have older Gen Y Millennials. We need to give them meaningful value. Younger Gen Y Millennials, maybe we can be a little more goofy.

Shawn: A little bit, but still relevant.

Kacha: Yes. Still relevant, but let’s get to relevancy and the buts. What do we think about School of Guac and Earliest Show? Give me your review.

Shawn: Let’s start with School of Guac. I think that’s the easiest one to get into and it’s the shortest. Drops on Snapchat every Tuesday, I think around 3:00.

Kacha: Which is right when everybody’s getting out of school.

Shawn: Exactly.

Kacha: Teenagers, right?

Shawn: They have defined their audience very well. They know who they’re talking to. They know when they’re watching. They know how they’re watching. Great A+.

Kacha: Stuff’s just kind of happening and popping up and down. You’re getting a good branded kind of piece of value.

Shawn: Visually, it feels like unlike anything else that Chipotle puts out which I think is great for this market. It’s up, it’s fun. They’ve got dancing emoji. They’ve got a lot of color. They’ve got this great script. They’ve got this great actress. It’s fantastic.

Kacha: Totally agree. Earliest Show, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say, I hate it. It’s terrible. There’s a key reason why I believe it’s terrible. It’s not because it by itself is terrible, which it is. It’s not right for the intended audience. They say they’re there for millennial men at two a.m. on Funny or Die, which is great. I think millennial men at two a.m. on Funny or Die is fantastic. With an early show? No.

Shawn: It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. I tried to really love it. Being an avid, avid, avid Cap’n Crunch fan my entire life, I wanted to love this. I realize, I’m not in that audience, so good, maybe they’re not talking to me. I can’t imagine who they’re talking to. Do you remember Dumb and Dumber, the most annoying sound in the world? That’s what this show reminded me of.

Kacha: That’s exactly what it felt like and I think it felt like that to millennial men. I don’t even think that they’re appreciating it. But I do think that the concept is right. We just need to get the content to make a lot more sense for that audience at that time on that channel.

Shawn: Good start. Needs refinement. I know they’re one, maybe two, episodes in. I think just one. They’ve got another nine to go. I’m hoping they can get it there. They’ve got good bones, but right now, it is not connecting.

Kacha: Totally agree. All right, so listen. Those brands, million dollar budgets, professional sets, professional actors …

Shawn: Beautiful sets, by the way. I thought the sets for the Cap’n Crunch one, gorgeous. Spot on. Colors are great. They did a fine job with it.

Kacha: So design wise, it looks great.

Shawn: It looks fantastic.

Kacha: But what if I don’t have that kind of money? I don’t have access to that kind of talent? I don’t have access to that kind of stuff? What do you recommend brands do?

Shawn: The barrier to entry on video is so low. If you have an iPhone and a Facebook account, you can be on TV right now, broadcasting to millions of users. There’s nothing standing in your way. Look around your store. Be unique. What do you have around that you can take and make something out of, that you can bring to life for your fans in some way that will connect with them.

Kacha: Yes, absolutely. I have prepared some visual aids for this.

Shawn: Great. I can’t wait.

Kacha: This one right here. First, who are you talking to? We’re talking to one eyed red men in this case. If you’re going to do this, make sure you’ve identified your audience and make sure you’re going to do some branded video content that this audience will appreciate. The second one is: you’ve got to be unique. You’ve got to be unique to what’s special about you. For example, if you are a pizza chain and one of your delivery guys, like he sings when he delivers the pizzas, make use of that. Do a little fun video.

Shawn: He’s probably singing pirate shanties, right?

Kacha: Yeah. He’s probably going to the one eyed red people. Yeah, okay.

Shawn: Make it relevant to your audience.

Kacha: You’ve made a unique video that’s unique about you. It’s relevant to your audience. Now what do you do with that? I’m going to make this really easy for you guys. The big F.

Shawn: Facebook.

Kacha: Facebook. All you have to do is get a Facebook ad, post this video. Do it with selecting all the demographics of who that audience is. You’re going to get immediate results about who’s watching it and what they’re doing with it.

Shawn: Better yet, try Facebook Live.

Kacha: Oh, that could be fun.

Shawn: Yeah.

Kacha: All right. Cool.

Shawn: All right. We’ve got another segment of Bittie Bites, but brand new packaging.

Shawn: I want to not tear this. Bittie Bites is a little segment where we reach in to this magic bag. It gives a thumbs up or a thumbs down, whatever we take out.

Kacha: What are you pulling out this time?

Shawn: I don’t know, but it feels like a visual.

Kacha: Okay. First: Enter the mind of Jack. 360 Jack in the Box.

Kacha: Oh, the Jack in the Box 360 video.

Shawn: Did you see this video?

Kacha: Yeah. I saw this. No.

Shawn: Why?

Kacha: What am I getting out of this, walking around this landscape of bacon mountains?

Shawn: I love the landscape. I love being in the little different burger worlds. I hated the music, it didn’t connect. But I thought it was well on its way to something becoming almost great. I’m giving it a thumbs up.

Kacha: Cool. All right. Great. What else you got?

Shawn: Video chat at the drive thru. Something Starbucks is doing now. I can see my barista on the drive through screen. I can interact that way.

Kacha: I really like that. Anytime we’re increasing human interaction, I’m all for it.

Shawn: It’s giving me that piece that I’m missing when I go through Starbucks in the front door. Yeah. Thumbs up. I love it.

Kacha: We love that.

Shawn: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que offered right wing, left wing and f*ckit bucket chicken wing combos on election day.

Kacha: Anything like that is awesome. Especially because it’s on brand for these guys. Dinosaur Bar-B-Que. Yeah, that’s perfect. I love it. Nobody else can pull that off.

Shawn: I’m sorry I missed it. I kind of want to go back in time for a few reasons now. All right. That’s it for Branding Bites and Bittie Bites.

Kacha: It’s been really fun. Thank you guys for joining us. If you have questions, send them to us at @SkidmoreStudio. We’ll be happy to answer them next week. Until then. See you later.

Shawn: Thanks, guys.