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DTC meat brand ButcherBox taps influencers to reach parents through short form videos

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DTC meat brand ButcherBox taps influencers to reach parents through short form videos

Direct-to-consumer meat brand ButcherBox is looking to reach new audiences, especially parents, with a short form video series featuring social media influencers who are also parents.

After a ButcherBox survey found that 79% of Americans have some kind of mealtime ritual, the brand decided to adapt its strategy to leverage influencers as part of its own branded content. Previously, ButcherBox had only used influencers as content creators.

ButcherBox launched its “Let’s Fix Dinner” campaign in June, with a video series that can be seen on the brand’s YouTube channel and Instagram page. ButcherBox tapped six mom influencers for the series: Nicki Maher, digital creator and storyteller; Natasha D’Anna, creator, designer and author of Mom’s Choice Award-winning book “Any Two can be Delicious;” Christine Koh, author and co-host of the “Edit Your Life” podcast; Meaghan Murphy, author of “Your Fully Charged Life” and co-host of the “Off the Gram” podcast, Krystian Mitryk, digital creator and storyteller; and Cassie Shortsleeve, journalist, founder of Dear Sunday Motherhood and co-founder of Chamber of Mothers, a collective for mothers’ rights.

With the videos, called “ButcherBox Table Talks,” ButcherBox focuses on the value and importance of family dinners through laughter, tears and practical advice on how to make mealtimes fun, bringing the topic to life with the six moms who explore what family mealtime looks like, what it means and how it differs in each of their households.

“This campaign is a rallying cry to uncomplicate our plates. To further amplify these efforts, we are exploring unique ways such as this influencer campaign to highlight the value and importance of not only purchasing and preparing healthy food, but gathering around the dinner table with loved ones,” said Melissa Crowe, ButcherBox’s vp of marketing.

According to Crowe, the effort launched as a campaign for ButcherBox’s organic social channels to drive brand awareness. “That being said, our plan is to put ad dollars behind some of this content later in the year for seasonal purposes,” she said. Crowe declined to disclose how much of the brand’s advertising budget was allocated to the social media influencers. 

It is unclear how much of ButcherBox’s advertising budget is allocated to the campaign, as Crowe would not share overall budget specifics. According to Pathmatics data, the brand spent a little over $8.3 million on advertising efforts so far in 2022. In 2021, the company spent $10.7 million.

Through this campaign, ButcherBox wanted to represent what mealtime looks like in a variety of different homes and families, while also being deliberate about which influencers the brand picked based on their different areas of expertise, Crowe said. “Each influencer offered varying perspectives which has led to an amazing culmination of stories, advice and relatable anecdotes,” she said.

ButcherBox has relied heavily on affiliate marketing for the last seven years in an effort to promote awareness and grow sales. By leveraging Table Talks, ButcherBox is aiming to be more brand-focused and engaging with its target audience in order to further its influencer strategy. “Instagram is our most engaged platform and the primary platform of most of our influencers,” said Crowe, explaining why Instagram was the social platform of choice for the brand.

The food industry has always relied on influencer marketing, regardless media trends. For example, Martha Stewart, Jamie Oliver and David Chang use food to enhance occasions, conversations and moments. And, with her blog and cookbook, Jillian Harris transitioned from the lifestyle sector into dining and entertainment.

“ButcherBox using influencers as talent is simply the 2022 version of that, as they enter the world of ‘eater-tainment’ with Table Talk,” said Jacquie Kostuk, director of creative strategy at FUSE Create. “Bringing a reality TV element to food content that helps the viewer lean in but not just by being ad, by providing content with emotional value.”

It is Butcherbox’s goal to be a leading voice in the discussion about gathering around the dinner table, as well as to be seen as more than just a delivery service and solidify its brand as one that cares about customers’ health and well-being and — even more importantly — one that is an expert in this field. “Our working plan is to expand on this series in years to come featuring a wide variety of influencers and perspectives such as involving dads, kids and other family members,” Crowe said.

https://digiday.com/?p=464928

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NASA Says Hurricane Didn’t Hurt Artemis I Hardware, Sets New Launch Window

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NASA Says Hurricane Didn’t Hurt Artemis I Hardware, Sets New Launch Window

NASA’s Artemis I moon mission launch, stalled by Hurricane Ian, has a new target for takeoff. The launch window for step one of NASA’s bold plan to return humans to the lunar surface now opens Nov. 12 and closes Nov. 27, the space agency said Friday. 

The news comes after the pending storm caused NASA to scrub the latest Artemis I Iaunch, which had been scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 2. As Hurricane Ian threatened to travel north across Cuba and into Florida, bringing rain and extreme winds to the launch pad’s vicinity, NASA on Monday rolled its monster Space Launch System rocket, and the Orion spacecraft it’ll propel, back indoors to the Vehicle Assembly Building at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center. 

The hurricane made landfall in Florida on Wednesday, bringing with it a catastrophic storm surge, winds and flooding that left dozens of people dead, caused widespread power outages and ripped buildings from their foundations. Hurricane Ian is “likely to rank among the worst in the nation’s history,” US President Joe Biden said on Friday, adding that it will take “months, years, to rebuild.”

Initial inspections Friday to assess potential impacts of the devastating storm to Artemis I flight hardware showed no damage, NASA said. “Facilities are in good shape with only minor water intrusion identified in a few locations,” the agency said in a statement. 

Next up, teams will complete post-storm recovery operations, which will include further inspections and retests of the flight termination system before a more specific launch date can be set. The new November launch window, NASA said, will also give Kennedy employees time to address what their families and homes need post-storm. 

Artemis I is set to send instruments to lunar orbit to gather vital information for Artemis II, a crewed mission targeted for 2024 that will carry astronauts around the moon and hopefully pave the way for Artemis III in 2025. Astronauts on that high-stakes mission will, if all goes according to plan, put boots on the lunar ground, collect samples and study the water ice that’s been confirmed at the moon’s South Pole. 

The hurricane-related Artemis I rollback follows two other launch delays, the first due to an engine problem and the second because of a hydrogen leak.

Hurricane Ian has been downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone but is still bringing heavy rains and gusty winds to the Mid-Atlantic region and the New England coast.

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What You Get in McDonalds’ New Happy-Meal-Inspired Box for Adults

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What You Get in McDonalds’ New Happy-Meal-Inspired Box for Adults

You’ve pulled up to McDonald’s as a full-on adult. You absolutely do not need a toy with your meal, right? Joking. Of course you do.

The fast-food chain will soon sell boxed meals geared toward adults, and each one has a cool, odd-looking figurine inside. 

The meal has an odd name — the Cactus Plant Flea Market Box — that’s based on the fashion brand collaborating with McDonald’s on this promotion. 

According to McDonald’s, the box is inspired by the memory of enjoying a Happy Meal as a kid. The outside of the box is multicolored and features the chain’s familiar golden arches. 

The first day you can get a Cactus Plant Flea Market Box will be Monday, Oct. 3. Pricing is set by individual restaurants and may vary, according to McDonald’s. It’ll be available in the drive-thru, in-restaurant, by delivery or on the McDonald’s app, while supplies last.

You can choose between a Big Mac or 10-piece Chicken McNuggets. It will also come with fries and a drink.

Now about those toys. The boxes will pack in one of four figurines. Three of the four appear to be artsy takes on the classic McDonald’s characters Grimace, Hamburglar and Birdie the Early Bird, while the fourth is a little yellow guy sporting a McDonald’s shirt called Cactus Buddy.

In other McD news, Halloween buckets could be returning to the chain this fall. So leave some room in your stomach for a return trip.

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Why companies like iHeartMedia, NBCU rely on homegrown IP to build metaverse engagements

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Why companies like iHeartMedia, NBCU rely on homegrown IP to build metaverse engagements

To avoid potential blowback from a skeptical audience, retailers as well as media and entertainment companies are learning to invest in their homegrown intellectual properties while building virtual brand activations inside Roblox or Fortnite.

Take, for instance, when they get it wrong.

Earlier this week, Walmart launched its own Roblox world — called Walmart Land — and was roundly mocked for it across social media given the announcement’s disjointed brand message and apparent lack of life. In one viral tweet, a Twitter user described a clip of Walmart CMO William White introducing the Roblox space as “one of the saddest videos ever created.”

This video of Walmart’s chief marketing officer on a stage in Roblox talking about its new “Walmart Land” experience is one of the saddest videos ever created. pic.twitter.com/HtIIToShKs

— Zack Zwiezen (@ZwiezenZ) September 26, 2022

To some extent, this sort of criticism is to be expected during the early days of the metaverse.

“Walmart is an iconic brand; when you see them coming into a platform like Roblox, people are going to be 10 times more critical of what is being launched,” said Yonatan Raz-Fridman, CEO of the Roblox developer studio Supersocial.

But Walmart’s size is not its only disadvantage as it dips its toes into Roblox. Although Walmart has a widely recognizable brand, it owns few intellectual properties that users are actually interested in experiencing virtually — a shortcoming reflected by the somewhat cavernous emptiness of Roblox’s Walmart Land.

Provided by NBCUniversal

The success of other recent brand activations is evidence that media and entertainment brands are better equipped to build metaverse spaces that can dodge online skepticism, thanks to their wealth of owned IP.

“They are having to reinvent themselves, to a certain degree, but that is in their DNA,” said Jesse Streb, global svp of technology and engineering at the agency DEPT. “So they have a unique advantage over, say, some kludgy company that sells lumber, or a construction company.”

For example, iHeartMedia’s Roblox and Fortnite spaces were inspired by the mass media corporation’s wealth of popular real-life events, such as the Jingle Ball Tour and iHeartRadio Music Festival, with virtual versions of musicians like Charlie Puth performing pre-recorded concerts that allow real-time audience interaction.

“There’s a strong brand association with the IP, down to a station level — you’re in the New York area, you probably know Z100,” said iHeartMedia evp of business development and partnerships Jess Jerrick. “The same is true for the event IP, or the IP that we now have in the podcasting space, and of course our radio broadcast talent. So there’s no shortage of really strong IP we can bring into these spaces.”

Translating real-life properties into the metaverse is also an enticing prospect for brands that view metaverse platforms as an experimental marketing channel, allowing them to bring tried-and-true IP into their virtual activations instead of designing them from the ground level. This was part of the strategy behind the recent Tonight Show activation in Fortnite Creative, which was designed in collaboration between NBCUniversal and Samsung. “We’re looking at it holistically — how do we find fans in new ways, and use IP that fans love in new ways?” said NBCU president of advertising and client partnerships Mark Markshall.

Since opening on Sept. 14, iHeartLand has already enticed over 1.5 million Roblox users to visit. The company aims to retain that attention with a schedule of virtual programming featuring popular musicians and personalities.

“At our core, we are essentially an influencer network; our broadcast talent are some of the most connected, most engaging influencers at work in media today,” said Conal Byrne, CEO of iHeart Digital Audio Group. “That gives us this sort of superpower, to be able to go into new-ish platforms, like Roblox or Fortnite, because we talk to our listeners through those influencers.”

https://digiday.com/?p=468395

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