How’s about a hunk of bacon for that?
That's the question asked by a man traveling across the country
September 13, 2012
In the expression “bringing home the bacon,” the bacon stands for money.
But can actual bacon be used as a stand-in for money to fuel a trip across country?
Oscar Mayer wants to find out.
The lunch meat company is sponsoring one man’s attempt to travel from New York to Los Angeles without money and with a trailer full of a ton and a half of bacon as his only bartering tool.
It’s set up a web site, a YouTube channel and a Twitter account to follow actor and comedian Josh Sankey’s adventures as he attempts to trade bacon for basic necessities like gas, lodging and non-bacon food, though obviously he can always chow down on his currency.
The amusing alternative media stunt is the brainchild of Dentsu’s 360i, Oscar Mayer’s digital agency.
Oscar Mayer wanted a creative but not expensive way to promote Butcher Thick Cut bacon, a new product that costs a bit more than its traditional, thinner bacon products.
The company felt a stunt that went beyond traditional media approaches such as TV and radio ads would help the thick cut bacon stand out better.
Hence the BaconBarter adventure was hatched.
The rules are simple.
Sankey is not allowed to use cash or credit cards on his journey, which includes pre-arranged stopovers in Louisville, Ky., Chicago and Council Bluffs, Iowa.
He offers to exchange packets of bacon for whatever strikes his fancy. So far he’s bartered for a T-shirt, some Civil War memorabilia, deer meat and an invitation to a wedding in the Hamptons.
Using Twitter, Facebook and email, Sankey communicates his location and where he’s headed, inviting people to hit him up with proposed deals.
He aims to distribute his more than 3,000 packs of bacon by the time he reaches Los Angeles near the end of the month.
The web site is keeping a running tally of how many packs he has left.
The stunt works because it’s a smart way to merge the power of social media with a real adventure. Sankey’s cross-country journey is almost like a reality show, with unexpected stops and starts, colorful characters and crazy challenges.
By channeling all that into social media, Oscar Mayer is getting people invested not only in Sankey’s story but also in its product.
So far it looks like a success. The campaign generated a story in The New York Times on Monday, prompting lots of Twitter chatter.
The BaconBarter Twitter account has more than 2,000 followers, and Oscar Mayer is featuring the campaign on its Facebook page, which has more than 730,000 fans.
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