Bush’s Baked Beans: A Tasty Interactive Marketing Strategy

It’s National Baked Beans Month

Bush's Baked BeansJuly is National Baked Beans month, so it’s only natural that I highlight this pantry staple by tipping my hat to a brand that has gone
above and beyond in their marketing efforts: Bush’s Best.

It was 1993 when Jay Bush became the Bush’s Best official spokesperson. Over the past couple of decades, I can think of several big name brands that have changed many things regarding their marketing strategy, including spokesmodels and catchphrases. “You’ve got the right one, baby!”  “It’s the cheesiest.” “Once you pop, you can’t stop.” “Have you had your break today?”

I’m sure we could go on and on, but Bush’s has managed to market their famous baked beans based on the same premise for twenty years. They’re still rolling beautiful bean footage, every commercial still boasts the secret family recipe, and Duke still can’t wait to… spill the beans.

Bush’s Goes Digital

Now, Bush’s has implemented a modern, digital marketing strategy to complement what we all have come to know and expect of the brand. Not only are they blogging and maintaining very active social media channels, but they’ve recently developed three apps. They now offer a photo app and two games—one of which is the video game seen in their latest television spot.

Bush's Baked Bean Dash

Perhaps you’ve seen Jay, the “famous bean spokesperson,” alongside his canine companion, Duke, playing the video game, but did you notice the App Store and Google play icons at the bottom of your television screen?  Take a moment to revisit the video. I’ll wait.

Those widely recognized icons are there to let you know that you, too, can go for the high-score. This baked bean brand has maintained its brand’s identity and transcended into the market of 2014 by using their tried and true television format to promote their new apps, which all encourage activity on their social media channels.

Considering the fact that we’re not talking about apps that offer recipes or serving suggestions, this was definitely a bold move. Obviously, in today’s market, app development is nothing new. However, I find Bush’s use of apps in their marketing strategy to be so interesting simply because it doesn’t really make sense—they’re canned beans. But Bush’s just wants you to play.

Those who’ve spent hours tending to digital farms or crushing candy can now kill time in Duke & Jay’s Busy Bean Kitchen or with Bean Dash. Prepare meals, serve patrons and, of course, keep Duke from sharing the secret family recipe. According to users that have given these apps a try, they’re averaging 4 out of 5 stars and receiving comments such as “Fun to play! And it makes me hungry.”

It’s clear that Bush’s Best has mastered the art of brand association. Now, with a well-designed website and strong presence on the web (and smartphones), they’re further solidifying their position as America’s favorite baked beans (www.statista.com).  They’re marketing their version of this old fashioned comfort food by vying for a position among your latest addictions and it seems as though this idea just might serve its purpose. Now, just for fun, roll that beautiful bean footage!

Tori Chambers – Content Strategist

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