Devour’s ‘Cheat Day’ YouTube series digs into pro athletes’ downtime fun

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Dive Brief:

  • Devour Frozen Foods and sports media company Team Whistle will show YouTube viewers how top athletes spend their free time as part of a new “Cheat Day” series, according to a press release emailed to Mobile Marketer’s sister publication, Marketing Dive.
  • The series, which premiered on Monday, will feature athletes like Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks, Boban Marjanovic of the Dallas Mavericks and Lane Johnson of the Philadelphia Eagles, the company said.
  • The Kraft Heinz brand partnered with Team Whistle due to its background in providing content targeted at millennial and Gen Z consumers, per the press release.

Dive Insight:

Devour’s partnership with Team Whistle on the “Cheat Day” series aims to connect viewers with their favorite players on a personal level, especially now that the COVID-19 pandemic is keeping most sports fans at home. The video series on YouTube allows the brand to reach millennial and Gen Z consumers thanks to its partnership with Team Whistle and several popular athletes that are no stranger to marketing campaigns. Chipotle recently tapped Young for a TikTok challenge, while Marjanovic was featured in a trivia game show on Instagram Live within a Subway effort.

The Cheat Day series follows in the brand’s tradition of crafting relatable campaigns, albeit in a less risqué way. Last year, Devour introduced an “uncensored” Super Bowl commercial around the idea that their meals are tasty enough to be considered “food porn.” The company also placed ads on Pornhub that month, continuing its play on the food porn theme.

Parent company Kraft Heinz has a history of producing tongue-in-cheek ads. The company teamed up with agency CP+B to create its “Swear Like a Mother” campaign in 2017 that featured kid-friendly swear word alternatives like “monkey-flunking.” In February 2020, the company’s #KraftMacIsForLovers campaign gave sweepstakes winners macaroni and cheese products plus items for creating a romantic evening for parents like candles and rose petals.

However, these edgy campaigns are not without risks: Kraft this week scrubbed ads from a sexually suggestive #SendNoods campaign off the internet following intense social media backlash. The more wholesome “Cheat Day” campaign allows Devour to reach young consumers without risking a similar backlash or having people associate the brand with inappropriate messaging that crosses the line.

Though sports marketing has undoubtedly changed given the COVID-19 pandemic, brands including Babe Wine, Miller Lite, Callaway and Dos Equis have continued to create sports-centered initiatives, many of which are lighthearted despite the stressful year. Nearly half of consumers say they’re ready to see ads about topics beyond the coronavirus pandemic, per a survey from Mitto released in May.