During this year’s awards-show season, KING’S HAWAIIAN threw thousands of House Parties around the country to show consumers first-hand why the brand is a perfect companion for any awards-show viewing party. Today we’re talking with Chad Donvito, Director of Brand Management at KING’S HAWAIIAN, about that process and the results.
There were a lot of KING'S HAWAIIAN parties happening on February 22 - 3,000 of them, in fact. Were you surprised by the outpouring of enthusiasm you saw?
We were thrilled! KING’s HAWAIIAN ran its first TV campaign last year, and we’re seeing increasing awareness and buzz around the brand. We continue to be amazed and encouraged by the level of enthusiasm and passion we see for KING’s HAWAIIAN. The House Party activation was the icing on the cake, with thousands of social posts and photos. We knew we had tapped into the right community and were excited to partner with such a passionate group of fans.
KING’S HAWAIIAN was rather busy this past awards-show season, with a pretty robust mix of event sponsorships and other tie-ins. What role did House Party play in your overall strategy?
Our goal for awards-show season was to show how KING’S HAWAIIAN is an irresistible part of a great awards-show party. We brought this to life across many activations — from an integration in the People’s Choice Awards to advertising during the Oscars to in-store displays. House Party helped us bridge across activations and bring the message to life in a big way — by being at 3,000 awards-show parties the night of the Oscars! Our messaging was further extended by all of the great conversations the party hosts and guests drove, both online and offline. And, ultimately, we were able to drive trial in a fun and targeted way and leverage the strength of word-of-mouth marketing.
Party hosts, guests and applicants uploaded over 6,000 photos to your campaign site (a few of which we’ve shared here in this post). How does KING'S HAWAIIAN typically encourage and take advantage of user-generated content?
We love user-generated content! KING’S HAWAIIAN has a fantastic fan base that loves to share content and engage with the brand. A lot of fans post photos and recipes, so we actively listen for mentions and re-share photos or feature them in our posts (with their permission, of course). We also listen to our community to gain rich consumer insights. Through the content fans post, we learn how they use and talk about our products and brand and incorporate their language in future communications.
What does the future of advocacy marketing and consumer engagement look like for KING'S HAWAIIAN?
We know that advocacy and word-of-mouth marketing can be very powerful. We’ve seen how working with the right influencers can introduce the brand to new people and convert them to purchase. We’ve also seen how developing the right content is critical to driving engagement. Advocacy marketing is a part of every campaign that we do and we always strive to provide fresh, relevant content to encourage engagement.