Butterball holiday push eyes young consumers

CHICAGO: Butterball, the ubiquitous turkey and poultry brand, ramped up communications efforts this holiday season in hopes to reach younger consumers who were cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the first time.

CHICAGO: Butterball, the ubiquitous turkey and poultry brand, ramped up communications efforts this holiday season in hopes to reach younger consumers who were cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the first time.

Allison McClamroch, VP in consumer brands at Edelman, which has been leading Butterball's holiday efforts for 27 years, said the focus this year has been on keeping the brand on the cutting edge as it gears up for the holidays. And the company is relying on new media to do it.

"One of our challenges is to keep it fresh," she explained. "The issue isn't how we get media - because media attention happens naturally over the holidays - but how to keep it fresh and how to keep the brand relevant. We try to give each year a different theme."

With the company aiming to bring in a younger generation, McClamroch touted the new launch of a podcast which delivers advice on cooking turkeys as one of the year's highlights.

She also said the company would now increasingly look to new-media solutions to meet this goal.

The company and agency, working on the Web site in conjunction with marketing communications firm Wunderman, also introduced a section devoted to those preparing their first Thanksgiving meal.

Of course, the original turkey talk line, a toll-free number with cooking experts standing by, is still hugely successful as a communications tool, McClamorch noted. She said the company and agency use 10 of the line's experts as media spokespeople through the holiday season.

"The turkey talk line was a great tool when it was launched 27 years ago, and it's evolved over time. We're constantly looking for new ways to extend the credibility of the Butterball brand," she added.

This year, Butterball also highlighted regional differences in how the country celebrates the holiday. Incorporating this theme into communications efforts, the team used the brand's Web site to provide recipes from around the country and highlight differences between Thanksgiving dinner tables across the US.

Preparation for next year will start as early as December, with the team looking for more Web elements.

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