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The Digital Food Marketing Landscape: Challenges for Researchers

  • Kathryn C. Montgomery
  • Sonya A. Grier
  • Jeff Chester
  • Lori Dorfman
Chapter

Abstract

In 2008, when Frito-Lay’s Doritos brand wanted to re-launch two older flavors that had been discontinued in the 1980s, the company created a digital marketing campaign called “Hotel 626.” Part of a Halloween promotion to bring the defunct chips “back from the dead,” the campaign was aimed squarely at teenagers, using a variety of under-the-radar techniques to entice them to “check in” to the online hotel (which was only open from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.). By entering their names and email addresses, teens were immediately immersed in a nightmarish movie, from which they could escape only through a series of unpleasant challenges that asked them to use their webcams, microphones, and mobile phones. Live Twitter feeds enabled users to share their experiences in real time, and they were encouraged to post and share photos of themselves as they participated. A custom Facebook app prompted teens to “send a scare” to friends in their social networks. With a budget of less than In 2008, when Frito-Lay’s Doritos brand wanted to re-launch two older flavors that had been discontinued in the 1980s, the company created a digital marketing campaign called “Hotel 626.” Part of a Halloween promotion to bring the defunct chips “back from the dead,” the campaign was aimed squarely at teenagers, using a variety of under-the-radar techniques to entice them to “check in” to the online hotel (which was only open from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.). By entering their names and email addresses, teens were immediately immersed in a nightmarish movie, from which they could escape only through a series of unpleasant challenges that asked them to use their webcams, microphones, and mobile phones. Live Twitter feeds enabled users to share their experiences in real time, and they were encouraged to post and share photos of themselves as they participated. A custom Facebook app prompted teens to “send a scare” to friends in their social networks. With a budget of less than $1 million, the Hotel 626 campaign had a significant impact—even though the site never mentioned the name of the product itself. By the following spring, more than four million people in 136 countries had visited the site and played the game, with an average stay of 13 min. The re-launched flavors sold out, selling two million bags in just 3 weeks, and Hotel 626 was awarded the Cyber Lion at the 2009 Cannes Advertising awards—perhaps the most prestigious prize in marketing (Hotel626.com, 2010; Inspiration Room, 2009). The campaign was so successful that it spawned an even more elaborate and terrifying sequel the following year, called “Asylum 626” (Diaz, 2009). million, the Hotel 626 campaign had a significant impact—even though the site never mentioned the name of the product itself. By the following spring, more than four million people in 136 countries had visited the site and played the game, with an average stay of 13 min. The re-launched flavors sold out, selling two million bags in just 3 weeks, and Hotel 626 was awarded the Cyber Lion at the 2009 Cannes Advertising awards—perhaps the most prestigious prize in marketing (Hotel626.com, 2010; Inspiration Room, 2009). The campaign was so successful that it spawned an even more elaborate and terrifying sequel the following year, called “Asylum 626” (Diaz, 2009).

Keywords

Augmented Reality Digital Medium Minority Youth Dual Process Model Hispanic Youth 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathryn C. Montgomery
    • 1
  • Sonya A. Grier
    • 2
  • Jeff Chester
    • 3
  • Lori Dorfman
    • 4
  1. 1.School of CommunicationAmerican UniversityNW Washington DCUSA
  2. 2.Department of Marketing, Kogod School of BusinessAmerican UniversityNW Washington DCUSA
  3. 3.Center for Digital DemocracyNW Washington, DCUSA
  4. 4.Berkeley Media Studies GroupBerkeleyUSA

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