By Alyssa Boyle
Millennials are most likely to become first-time Thanksgiving dinner hosts in the near future, at least according to turkey brand Butterball’s research.
The problem for Butterball is that younger generations are less familiar with the brand than older ones, said Kyle Lock, Butterball’s VP of marketing.
Fact is, from Thanksgiving turkey to supplemental insurance, certain products are historically advertised to older age demos.
But now these brands are turning to a mix of social media and streaming to generate brand awareness and lift among younger audiences.
Butterball structured its video campaign in the lead-up to Thanksgiving this year to reach younger audiences by prioritizing TikTok and connected TV, including YouTube.
Although Butterball has always had a social media presence, Lock said, it only started experimenting with TikTok marketing two years ago.
Butterball is including TikTok (and Instagram) on its media plan, because those platforms are more popular among younger demos compared with, say, Facebook, which “skews older,” he said.
Streaming appeals to Butterball because of its digital-like targeting capabilities, Lock said, which is missing on linear TV.
Today, we turkey (on TikTok)
Butterball especially wants to reach audiences in their early 30s.
Its new 30-second spot features compilations of multigenerational families with a new tagline that promotes the company’s recently relaunched website.
Butterball is also creating original content for TikTok that promotes specific food products through ecommerce integrations with retailers.
Although turkey might not be the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks about ecommerce, Butterball is looking to continue capitalizing on the social commerce opportunity that started to gain traction during the pandemic.
Meat and greet
But Butterball also wants to get more sophisticated with its targeting and move beyond just demographic age groups.
The brand segments audiences based on their online search behavior, including looking at signals that point to consumption habits, brand loyalty preferences and indicators someone might be considering hosting Thanksgiving dinner or looking for a healthier meat alternative.
For example, a considerable proportion of Butterball’s consumer base is made up of people actively trying to reduce the amount of red meat in their diets. If a consumer demonstrates interest in red meat replacements – for example, by searching for turkey lasagna recipes – that person is an ideal target for Butterball.
(Fun fact: In a year, on average, Butterball sells more packages of turkey bacon than whole turkeys.)
Being able to optimize ad performance in real time means making sure the company stays “connected very closely with consumers’ search behavior,” Lock said, especially when it comes to retail integrations.
Butterball is also focusing on engagement metrics more than impressions to maximize the impact of its messaging, Lock said, including measuring shares on TikTok as opposed to likes or follows.
The brand works with Kantar to track media investments with channel-specific performance benchmarks, including brand lift and brand awareness.
But it’s not Thanksgiving every day, so Butterball is trying to keep its marketing evergreen to build brand momentum throughout the year, particularly among younger age demos.
This broader approach is one of the reasons why Butterball’s latest campaign is tied to a website relaunch. The new site centralizes Butterball’s products and content, including recipes, together with other services that the brand offers, such as its decades-old Turkey Talk-Line (not kidding) designed to serve up advice to stressed and harried Thanksgiving hosts.
“We’re altering the mix to make stronger connections with the next generation of holiday hosts,” Lock said.
Sign up to be an AdExchanger Member today and get unlimited access to articles like this, plus proprietary data and research, conference discounts, on-demand access to event content, and more!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
- PODCAST: AdExchanger Talks
- OPINION: Data-Driven Thinking