Reebok Gets Into The Bacon Craze

Many athletes -- particularly CrossFitters -- are hardcore adherents to the Paleolithic (“Paleo”) diet that positions bacon as a key food group. Bacon is recommended for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack time. Now, Reebok and ad agency Venables Bell & Partners are feeding into the bacon craze with a consumer engagement initiative that supported the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games.

"Reebok wanted to engage with the CrossFit community in an authentic, memorable way," says Will McGinness, executive creative director, Venables Bell & Partners. "The CrossFit community loves bacon. They eat it. They talk about it. Some even wear clothes featuring it. We wanted to embrace the love of bacon and build something fun for the community, while remaining authentic to its spirit."

Under the effort, the athletic brand sent Reebok-branded bacon to enthusiasts the week before the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games. In sticking with Paleo recommendations, “Reebok Bacon” was uncured and contained no nitrates, preservatives, msg or sweeteners. Packaging in dry ice kept the bacon refrigerated until recipients threw it in a skillet.

Then, at the actual Games in Carson, CA, Reebok hosted its very own Bacon Box food truck, giving out bacon-based menu items to CrossFit Games attendees. Each guest received a complimentary B.O.D (Bacon of the Day) bacon ball, and daily menu items included Bacon Wrapped Artichoke, Bacon Wrapped Chorizo Stuffed, Bacon Wrapped Seasoned Pork Belly and Bacon Wrapped Carne Asada and Pepperoncini.

Social media was also critical to the effort. Reebok posted about a daily “secret menu” item at the Bacon Box. Then, those who ordered the secret item received a “You Had Me At Bacon” card to be redeemed for a special prize at the BACONcierge.

Meanwhile, guests also had the opportunity to take their photo in front of a branded Reebok backdrop and tag the photo with #ReebokBacon for a complimentary printout. Guests could take a photo anywhere within StubHub and if they tagged #ReebokBacon a photo would print out at the Bacon Box.

Still, there are no plans to sell Reebok Bacon at retail. In fact, even sending packages of bacon proved too challenging to ad agency executives. "Sending frozen packages of paleo bacon is never easy," says McGinness. "We sourced the bacon from U.S. Wellness Meats, preferred bacon meat provider from Paleo Magazine. U.S. Wellness meats shipped the frozen bacon to a fulfillment house. There, dry ice packaging was created to fit with the boxes and then individually fulfilled. The frozen bacon was shipped overnight in a 24-hour window to be FDA compliant."

This consumer engagement initiative marks Venables Bell & Partners' first effort for Reebok since winning the global business in March. The independent San Francisco advertising agency was responsible for designing both the idea and influencer strategy.
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1 comment about "Reebok Gets Into The Bacon Craze".
  1. Michael Strassman from Freelance , July 30, 2014 at 4:44 p.m.
    There's only one problem with all this bacon nonsense...it has nothing to do with the actual Paleo diet. The Paleo diet is predicated on what mankind ate thousands of years ago. Yeah, we ate a lot more meat, but it was wild game of species now extinct, not processed bacon. You might as well build a diet based on zucchini sticks and onion rings from Fridays and call it 'vegetarian'.