Editor's note: Justin is handing over the reins to guest blogger Travis Kennedy today. On New Year's Eve, he'll be .....WHERE?....Oh, okay, I won't tell where he will be.
By Travis Kennedy
In the most recent Beggin’ Strips ad, our favorite golden retriever is up to his old tricks again. Having picked up the unmistakable scent of bacon somewhere in his home, he runs frantically from room to room, screaming obsessively that bacon is near and he must have it. Per usual, our protagonist discovers the bacon in the end and all is right with the world.
The marketing strategy is to both humanize and create pity for our hero in his mad dash for bacon: he must have it. Like a junkie on the trail of a fix, his weakness has overcome him and all social norms are tossed out the window. We understand his pain, and we’re rooting for him to get that bacon in order to pacify his demons, if only for a little while.
But this new ad had a fresh element that I couldn’t put my finger on at first. It ate away at me for hours. I couldn’t sleep, so I went for a drive. And while I was coasting around on the back streets of the rural hamlet that I call home, listening to Tupac so loud that I wasn’t even really enjoying it, it dawned on me.
If you blink, you’ll miss it; but as the dog tears through the living room, there’s a perfectly clear image of a CNBC-style talking head on TV standing in front of a smart graphic that says “Bacon” with an arrow pointing straight up to the moon. At a nearly unprecedented time of economic uncertainty, as entire industries rest on the brink of failure, the stock on bacon is through the roof.
For it’s remarkably brief screen time through the eyes of an erratic dog, this screenshot required Beggin’ Strips to hire an actor; dress him up in a nice suit; throw him in front of a green-screen and develop a sharp looking “Bacon stock” graphic. It probably added half a day to production.
“During these challenging times, we don’t know what to believe in anymore. What will be there, no matter what? What was there to give our grandfathers the strength to work in the coal mines, and what will be there to fuel our grandchildren as they work in industries of the future? In this age of ‘here today, gone tomorrow,’ what are we certain will prevail long after we’re gone? It’s baaaacooooon. Bacon’s future has never been brighter. Wrap around yourself the warm blanket of certainty that is Beggin’ Strips. We promise you, we’ll be there.”
Bravo, Beggin’ Strips. You’ve raised the bar.
Travis Kennedy is 29, lives in Farmingdale and is the Chief of Staff