Traditions or Trends: Notable Food Marketing Creative

The fourth quarter of 2019 saw a slew of creative holiday-themed food marketing and advertising, including two meaty turns on what has become an odd and endearing annual tradition. In QSR news, last summer’s Chicken Sandwich War reared its head once again. And in the grocery category, Sam’s Club introduced exciting new check-out technology. Finally, in CPG, Hostess Twinkies aren’t just for snacks and dessert anymore.

For a full recap and commentary, watch this video:

Interested in looking at each of these creative food advertising tactics separately? Read on for a deeper dive into the highlights:

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association – Drool Log

As video ads become shorter and shorter, one type of long-form messaging seems to reemerge every holiday season. We refer, of course, to ye olde yule log–a traditional, long-running loop of a holiday log burning in a fireplace. This year, the beef industry got into the spirit of the season with their droll “Drool Log” video. It features two hours of a mouthwatering beef roast turning slowly on a spit in real time on YouTube. The sizzling stunt was a great way to get people thinking about beef for their holiday meals.

KFC – 11 Herbs & Spices Firelogs

Not to be outdone by its beefy rivals, KFC offered their own seasonal, chicken-scented firelogs replete with the delicious aroma of its famous 11 herbs and spices. Available for order on, the logs are shipped to consumers through a partnership with Walmart to spread “finger-lickin’ good cheer” during the holidays. KFC has also included a humorous disclaimer on the logs warning that their smell may attract bears or hungry neighbors.

Popeye’s & Chick-fil-A – Chicken Sandwich Wars, Part II

Two months after Popeye’s sold out of its hugely popular new chicken sandwich, last summer’s Chicken Sandwich War between Popeye’s and Chick-fil-A returned with a vengeance. Popeye’s announced that its much sought-after sandwich would finally return on November 3rd for National Sandwich Day. Chick-fil-A followed suit by promoting their own versions for that day as well. Unfortunately for Chick-fil-A, November 3rd fell on a Sunday, when they are closed. Chick-fil-A was quick to tweet an apology for the oversight, but Popeye’s was just as quick to get in a funny dig blasting Chic-Film-A for the miscue. Sigh… can’t we all just get along?

Stash Tea – A Little Bag of Crazy

Stash Tea’s point of difference is its “crazy” flavor combinations like Pomegranate Raspberry and Asian Pear Harmony. So to publicize them, they’ve created a low-budget, social video campaign that gives their ingredients the power of speech. The anthropomorphized teas are “crazy,” but in a good way. The same way we all are sometimes. Each crazy bag comes complete with its own quirky personality and a silly pair of googly eyes.

Sam’s Club – Usain Bolt

In what is almost certain to become standard grocery tech in the near future, Sam’s Club has developed a Scan & Go smartphone app. The app lets customers scan their own items and pay online, skipping the checkout line altogether. So to let people know they can now get all their shopping done in record time, they’ve hired the world’s fastest man. In the spot, Usain Bolt sprints down their aisles picking up everything from snacks to energy drinks to become “the world’s fastest shopper,” all thanks to Sam’s new mobile-checkout system.

Post & Hostess – Snacks to Cereal

You love breakfast for dinner, but have you tried dessert for breakfast? In the latest phase of the sugary-snack-to-cereal CPG trend, Post and Hostess have combined to adapt Hostess favorites including Donettes, Honey Buns, and Twinkies into cereals. The new products join other crossovers already on the shelf, including Sour Patch Kids Cereal and Hershey’s Cookies and Cream Fillows Cereal. A new TV spot features a cute, 1/12th scale bakery cranking out the new “tiny, tasty treats” and delivering them to their box via a miniature conveyer belt.

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Kirk Evans VP/Associate Creative Director EvansHardy+Young
Kirk Evans, VP/Assoc Creative Director

Kirk held senior creative positions at McCann-Erickson and Ogilvy in Los Angeles before joining EvansHardy+Young over 20 years ago. He has produced award winning work for multiple EHY Clients including Idaho Potatoes, California Walnuts and several restaurant chains. Previous clients included American Express, Coca-Cola, Columbia Pictures and Post Cereals. Despite being born and bred in New Jersey, Kirk is an enthusiastic surfer.