During the yesteryears of the dot com craze, companies scrambled to get branded websites up more from herd mentality than from fully understanding why they needed one. For most companies at the time, websites were mostly used as a platform to broadcast their marketing communications to potential customers and brand evangelists. Today, there has been a tectonic shift away from broadcasting out to the consumer to inviting them in and allowing for them to play an significant role in branding and marketing efforts. We’re seeing a shift from the one-way communication model where brands blare out messaging to consumers (think old disruption-based media like television, outdoor, print etc.) to the two-way conversation model (think opt-in social networking, user generated content, blogging, etc.) where advertising and communication are taking place in real time.
One such company that has embraced this model and has transformed the way they communicate is Chik-Fil-A. For those of you who don’t know, Chic-Fil-A is famous for their “Eat more Chikin” campaign delivered by cows who started a quest to convince humans to choose chicken over beef. The humorous campaign started in 1995 and slowly has successfully integrated the two-way stance on communications. While the company has not abandoned traditional media, they have beefed up (sorry about the pun) their online media with a bevy of new outlets that enable their customers to take part in their marketing and communications. And they’re at it again. Along with a healthy Facebook and Twitter presence, Chic-Fil-A recently launched a microsite (EatMoreChikin.com) which, according to clickz,
“…is the latest attempt by the restaurant chain to turn its cows — well-known from TV commercials — into viral marketing thoroughbreds. Its launch follows the company’s successful build-up of one of the biggest Facebook presences in the restaurant niche.
Are you already a fan of the cows? Then you’re in for a treat this holiday season because according to a recent PRNewswire release, Chic-Fil-A is offering the coveted 2010 edition of their annual cow-themed calendar featuring spoofs on famous works of literature to discourage burger-eating throughout the country. Titles include: Ali Barbacue, Porter Pan, Jack the Flipper and The Three Brisketeers among others. You can pick yours up for six bucks at participating restaurants or you can order online. It’s a nice offering that makes for a great stocking stuffer. Hey, chalk one up for old media.