Interventions are all the rage these days, and Sabra Dipping Company has been helping people break out of their culinary ruts with a "Taste Intervention" campaign.
As part of that campaign, launched last year, the maker of the top-selling hummus brand in the U.S. and other refrigerated dips and spreads ran a contest to identify folks in need of breaking out of food routines.
The grand prize winner, firefighter Ray Clothier, was whisked off to Turkey to experience the country's culture and fulfill his goal of expanding his culinary repertoire. Clothier, who doubles as the main cook for Fire Station 56 in Philadelphia, told Sabra he wanted to go beyond serving the same basic meals week in and week out and offer the crew a broader variety of "delicious, healthy" meals.
Sabra planned to capture Clothier's experience on video, but hadn't planned on what evolved: The firefighter's zest for adventure produced footage so compelling that the company decided to turn it into a Web series.
"Ray, who had not previously traveled outside of the U.S., embraced everything that Turkey had to offer," says brand manager Mina Penna. "The trip was truly life-changing for him. His experiences and commentary were so rich and emotional for him and our brand that we realized Webisodes would be a perfect way to show people what can happen when you expand your horizons."
Clothier was captured having the time of his life picking up techniques at Mediterranean Cooking School, visiting local markets, sharing meals in the homes of residents, and enjoying a Turkish bath and a belly-dancing class.
The first episode will post next week -- first on the brand's Facebook page, then on its site (sabra.com) and on YouTube. The rest will be posted on a one-per-week basis, starting Feb. 7.
The Webisodes were added to the marketing mix as Sabra continues the "Intervention" campaign this year. The campaign's theme, which complements its "Adventure Awaits" tagline, came out of new research showing that its target consumer base, who value novelty, also say that they sometimes fall into routines and so are not always as adventurous as they'd like to be, says Penna.
The brand has been running regional television spots (focused in the Northeast, where hummus sales are strongest) and online as well as Facebook ads for the campaign. The Webisodes are being promoted through its Facebook and Twitter presences. Sabra, which began ramping up its social media marketing activities late last year, now has about 16,000 Facebook fans and 1,900 Twitter followers.