Aunt Jemima Employees Star in Viral Video: Q&A

By Mar 16, 2011

A contest at a plant in Jackson, TN, that makes Aunt Jemima frozen waffles, pancakes and French toast, led to three employees starring in a video filmed at the plant and documenting how the products are made. The first video in the series of three was posted Feb. 17 on Facebook and had 33,000 views within 24 hours. Viewers could also download a $1 coupon. Andy Reichgut, a vice president of marketing for Pinnacle Foods, which manufacturer’s Aunt Jemima products, gives us the scoop on the program.

PROMO: Why did you decide to make these videos and have you done this before?
REICHGUT: This is our first foray into social media and viral videos. We had spent about a year monitoring consumers in the category and listening to conversations from people who kept talking about the uncertainly of how these products are made and who’s making them. We thought what better way to answer that question than by showing them who makes the product and how it’s made.

PROMO: How are you listening to the conversations?
REICHGUT: We’re listening to conversations on social media and searching for certain key words. It’s very easy today to find what consumers are talking about and you can really get a good sense of what consumers are thinking and what’s important to them.

PROMO: Where were the videos filmed and who produced them?
REICHGUT: Our lead agency Weber Shankwick led the process and we hired Jun Group to produce the videos and help us disseminate them with our media and planning buying agency, Optimedia. It was filmed in the plant and was really a turnkey process. We were going for authenticity and the video shows real employees who were nominated by their peers to represent the brand and the real people behind the brand. We filmed them there and they showed us how they make the products.

PROMO: What were the costs?
REICHGUT: It was quite efficient and incredibly well done.

PROMO: How did you get such a good return within minutes?
REICHGUT: We did a lot of outreach with consumers and bloggers, but I think the biggest impact was the consumers who started sharing it with their friends, then it started spreading like wildfire.

PROMO: How are you marketing this?
REICHGUT: We’re using traditional media as well as social and digital media and PR to get consumers to see the video.

PROMO: What is the time frame for launching the three videos?
REICHGUT: The first video introduces three employees and how they make the products. We will follow up with a number of other videos and information we can share with our consumers like new items launching. We really want to open the curtain and start having a great dialog.

PROMO: What happens after they end?
REICHGUT: The goal here is we wanted America to know that the way we make our waffles are just like homemade. We just have a really big kitchen to do it in.

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