What about selling something that doesn't solve a problem?

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I'm working out an idea for a mock advertisement for an snack product and am wondering if there are any good directions I should take for this.

A buddy of mine wanted to sell a common snack food that had an adult humor sort of theme to it, so I thought I'd use that idea and create a back story for it.

I'm thinking of creating the character that "founded" the snack with, hopefully, a humorous back story to set off the brand. It would cover how he came up with the snack and why he's making it available, but with a definite adult twist to it. Nothing explicit, more innuendo, but a lot of fun in my eternal 15 year old mindset.

Is there any sort of guide or example of a successful food product that has a back story for ideas of how to go about it?

Or should I just wing it for the heck of it? I guess what I'm really asking is do you think a snack with a "story" would be beneficial from an attention getting/sales perspective?

The idea of doing this is for my own experience, but I also kinda like the idea of giving it to him as a start to help him get started, should he go forward with his idea.

Thanks for any ideas
#problem #selling #solve
  • Profile picture of the author Cam Connor
    Originally Posted by TracyBelshee View Post

    I'm working out an idea for a mock advertisement for an snack product and am wondering if there are any good directions I should take for this.

    A buddy of mine wanted to sell a common snack food that had an adult humor sort of theme to it, so I thought I'd use that idea and create a back story for it.

    I'm thinking of creating the character that "founded" the snack with, hopefully, a humorous back story to set off the brand. It would cover how he came up with the snack and why he's making it available, but with a definite adult twist to it. Nothing explicit, more innuendo, but a lot of fun in my eternal 15 year old mindset.

    Is there any sort of guide or example of a successful food product that has a back story for ideas of how to go about it?

    Or should I just wing it for the heck of it? I guess what I'm really asking is do you think a snack with a "story" would be beneficial from an attention getting/sales perspective?

    The idea of doing this is for my own experience, but I also kinda like the idea of giving it to him as a start to help him get started, should he go forward with his idea.

    Thanks for any ideas
    When fruit loops came out, there were no fruity tasting cereals... problem solved.

    When whatever count chocula chocoholic cereal came out, there probably wasn't a chocolate cereal.

    When M&M's came out, there weren't any candies which would melt in your mouth, not your hand.

    Everything should solve a problem of some kind, unless you're planning on making a cheerios or kit-kat competitor (not recommended).
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Could make it geared to women
      and be a non guilt treat.

      Now you've given them a rational reason
      to obey their primal urge.

      You could take it to naming the brand,
      like...

      Skinny Chocolate
      guilt free

      So in a way it solves a problem...

      "How can I shut up that bitch
      saying I can't have chocolate?"

      Best,
      Ewen
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      • Profile picture of the author TracyBelshee
        Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post


        "How can I shut up that bitch
        saying I can't have chocolate?"

        Best,
        Ewen
        Thanks, that's along the lines of what I'm thinking. Not your every day snack (from a marketing perspective), something that will make people laugh.
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    • Profile picture of the author TracyBelshee
      Originally Posted by Cam Connor View Post


      Everything should solve a problem of some kind, unless you're planning on making a cheerios or kit-kat competitor (not recommended).
      Good point. His idea for the snack is primarily name based (and maybe interesting packaging to help set it off). The snack itself is normal, everyday common with a variety of flavors so in a sense, the problem it would solve may be helping to put a smile on peoples faces when they get it.

      He sees it as not only something people would buy to eat themselves, but as something people would buy for others as a gag/joke gift as well. Maybe something you'd see at Spencers and the like.

      Thanks for your thoughts, I appreciate it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Member8200
    every idea, every product, every single thing out there that you are buying has some kind of story in their background. 80% of them are true

    If you feel that your story can stir the minds of ordinary people in your niche then by all means go for it.

    However making up a story cannot put you in the top. Big brands has lots of critics and when you get there to the level of pepsi, cocacola a fake "how did you create this" will slap you in the face real hard.

    For mediciore business i guess writing up a fake story is good, rather than watch your business fail, do something about it before it even happens
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    • Profile picture of the author TracyBelshee
      Originally Posted by Member8200 View Post


      However making up a story cannot put you in the top. Big brands has lots of critics and when you get there to the level of pepsi, cocacola a fake "how did you create this" will slap you in the face real hard.

      For mediciore business i guess writing up a fake story is good, rather than watch your business fail, do something about it before it even happens
      The story wouldn't be expected to be believed, in fact, it would be very apparent that it's not a true story.

      The whole story and background would be more of a play on what he wants to call this every day type of snack.

      We both have a background in food and he definitely wants to make something people won't regret putting into their mouth, but the name/idea behind it is what makes him excited.
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      • Tracy,

        Originally Posted by TracyBelshee View Post

        We both have a background in food and he definitely wants to make something people won't regret putting into their mouth, but the name/idea behind it is what makes him excited.
        Now you have the PROBLEM. Regret for what we put in our mouth.

        "I ate this an almost threw up"
        "They gave me a sample to taste and I spit it out"
        "Mom wanted me to eat my spinach, but I fed it to the dog"

        That's what you build around. Regret for what we put in our mouth until the person tasted your brand, which is your solution and brings a smile to their face. This angle has been used by food companies for years with great success.

        Think Mentos or Orbit chewing gum. If you can go to YouTube and watch the commercials to study how they get the viewer to buy.

        So you are on the right track. But don't be so cute that your product never takes off. Short runs are no fun.
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        • Profile picture of the author TracyBelshee
          Originally Posted by ThePromotionalGuy View Post


          So you are on the right track. But don't be so cute that your product never takes off. Short runs are no fun.
          Thanks. And now I need to think through just how far to go.

          Part of his draw to the particular product, to the best of my knowledge, is the sophomoric image the name/brand would put into the consumers mind when combined with the actual snack.

          The snack itself is already determined, as is the brand/name. So I'll take this advice into consideration as I plan it out.
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  • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
    Money Tree Bonsai, Wedding Favors, Corporate Gifts, Plant Gifts

    Long time ago. I was asked to write on the "money tree"...found many folk lore stories...most of them like this one...then created my own.

    Since this is an exercise for you, I might suggest you explore the folk legends of all cultures. I used stories from the ancient Pueblo Natives of the Southwest US to sell Anasazi beans.

    In Hawaii, I took classes on Huna lore, and some great stories to use to sell Hawaiian good luck charms.

    One guy I know used the lore of the legend of the Hunza longevity to sell bread.

    So, there are many ways to do it,but creating a back story for a product like you suggest is pretty easy.

    There is a teen boy saying, "I wouldn't kick her out of bed for eating crackers."

    Well, a saying many boys carry with them for decades...

    But, say you're friend had a new popcorn, and it came about because Mary was eating it in bed when guy Bob was eating and it fell together.

    Think of the 'story' of peanut butter and chocolate, or Reese's Cups. Now they have a mini cup, an A cup, I hear they may be coming out with a Dolly Parton size EEE Reese's Cup for parties.

    Good luck.

    gjabiz
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    • Profile picture of the author TracyBelshee
      Originally Posted by gjabiz View Post

      Money Tree Bonsai, Wedding Favors, Corporate Gifts, Plant Gifts

      Long time ago. I was asked to write on the "money tree"...found many folk lore stories...most of them like this one...then created my own.

      Since this is an exercise for you, I might suggest you explore the folk legends of all cultures. I used stories from the ancient Pueblo Natives of the Southwest US to sell Anasazi beans.

      gjabiz
      That's along the lines of what I was thinking. He's from Tennessee and I'd call him my hillbilly buddy, so the past couple of days I got to thinking about his idea for a snack food and thought of creating a story around that.

      Something about a boy from the back hills and bringing it to life as a product.
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  • I would be tempted to go full on and let the ladies indulge.

    Be contrary to all the "healthy" options.

    So you're not competing with the latest tasteless nibble.

    Instead go for...

    Delicious, thick, creamy belgium chocolate.

    "For goodness sake, after all you go through don't you deserve an extra special treat?"

    There would be a million stories to justify it.

    You could even brand them like this -

    'Here's your reward for having to work extra hours"

    "Here's your reward when the kids play up"

    "Here's your reward for putting up with hubbies bad moods"

    'Here's your reward for being landed with the extra washing and ironing"

    The list is endless.


    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author TracyBelshee
      Originally Posted by Steve The Copywriter View Post

      I would be tempted to go full on and let the ladies indulge.

      Be contrary to all the "healthy" options.

      So you're not competing with the latest tasteless nibble.


      Steve
      Thanks Steve. This will definitely be contrary, although in and of itself, not particularly unhealthy.

      Those are some good ideas of how to handle the tagline and I appreciate it.
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  • Profile picture of the author 723Media
    I had to something very similar (at least I think it's similar). I had to create a character and background story for a hot sauce label.

    I came up with a whole background story of a habanero pepper that was used in hot sauce and became an angry ghost of sorts, which made the sauce hotter and legendary.

    You can definitely use this approach to create some compelling imagery around the product and branding. You can also spin this into smaller creative projects to use in social media and product extensions (stickers, t-shirts, hats, etc).

    Get creative with it and you can definitely make it work.
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    • Profile picture of the author TracyBelshee
      Originally Posted by 723Media View Post

      You can also spin this into smaller creative projects to use in social media and product extensions (stickers, t-shirts, hats, etc).

      Get creative with it and you can definitely make it work.
      Sorry, I missed your reply.

      I had similar thoughts. This particular project could be a lot of fun so once I'm a bit further along I'll contact him to see how serious he is about moving forward.
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