What This Client Needs is More Bacon

Credit: Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs

Credit: Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs


People love bacon. Ok, maybe not all people, but the ones who like bacon…they really like bacon. My 9 year old is one of those people. Last year I asked him what he wanted to bring to school for a birthday treat. I told him he could bring anything. He picked bacon. Serious bacon love.

Enthusiasm for the tasty pork product sparked a full-blown marketing frenzy. There are the famous bacon donuts, candied bacon martinis, and if your food isn’t flavorful enough, just sprinkle it with Bacon Salt. With such popularity, there was bound to be a bacon backlash.

But backlash or not, there’s a heck of a lot of bacon conversation out there.

At Curator, we talk with our clients about the importance of creating an experience that stands up to the conversation in the marketplace. We look for opportunities to help brands curate and participate in the right conversations, wherever they exist. Sometimes, it's difficult for a brand to uncover those conversations and takes time to earn a seat at the table. In other cases, these conversations are happening right in front of you, just waiting for you to add your voice. The team at Curator loves working with our clients to navigate either of these situations.

Recently, the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, the Triple A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, introduced its 2014 uniform lineup. A microsite at www.smellthechange.com showed off five new looks, including a bacon-themed ensemble for Saturday home games. As the site explains, this uniform has “a bacon strip logo on the cap, a fresh ‘Pigs’ jersey design emblazoned across the chest as well as the first-of-its-kind bacon-style piping down both legs of the pants.” Fans can purchase swag, including a scratch and sniff t-shirt that lasts up to 15 washes.

Over the past week, the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, and their new uniforms, have received cheers and jeers – and a huge amount of coverage -- from the sports world and Peter King’s MMQB to foodies at Huffington Post Taste.

Frankly, I love what the Iron Pigs’ marketing team did. They recognized a wacky cultural phenomenon that was relevant to their brand and jumped into the fun with both feet. At the end of the day, Minor League Baseball promotions are about capturing attention, getting butts in seats, and providing people with entertainment.

Curious to see how they’re standing up to the bacon conversation? Search “@ironpigs” on Twitter. Here's a snapshot of the humorous, bacon-fueled Twitter war raging between the famous Durham Bulls and the Iron Pigs. And the #smellthechange hashtag is slowly gaining steam.

I had never heard of the Iron Pigs before last week. Will I become a long-term fan? Not likely, but I’m following them on Twitter and just forked over $28 for a bacon-themed ball cap for a soon-to-be 10 year old. Want your own? Go here.

Three MiLB-related Twitter Accounts to Watch:

@IronPigs – Follow along and see if the Iron Pigs can live up to the hype.

@durhambulls – “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose and sometimes it rains.” Plus, the team does a great job engaging with its fans.

@bensbiz – Seek inspiration from the quirky world of minor league promotions teams.

Disclosure statement: I’m a St. Louis Cardinals fan and a bacon purist.