Click to play Case Study:
Who would actually get a tattoo of a mayonnaise jar?
Lots of people.
In the South, Duke’s Mayo doesn’t have fans. They have diehards. And these diehards love showing their Duke’s devotion in all kinds of ways; from fan art, to floral arrangements, to smuggling it in their suitcases on vacation. One man in Georgia even made it his dying wish to have his ashes inturned inside a Duke’s jar. We wanted to capitalize on this obsession in a fun and authentic way. So we got thinking.
Today, Duke’s Mayo is headquartered in the city of Richmond, Virginia. It’s a city most known for its incredible food scene, but it’s also the third most tattooed city in America. This intersection of food and culture and it being the heart of Duke’s Mayo territory gave birth to a crazy awesome idea—why don’t we give out free mayo-themed tattoos to diehard Duke’s fans in Richmond?
We teamed up with Yellowbird Tattoo to make it happen. They created a Duke’s themed flash sheet with over 40 unique tattoo designs for Friday the 13th—a day where tattoo shops across the nation let folks come in and get a pre-drawn flash tattoo for discounted prices.
Then we offered up 70 appointments to the public. They filled up in 90 minutes with a waiting list over 1,000 people long.
A little crazy. A little stupid. But it worked.
Before the event even happened, we started getting buzz. After pitching a couple local pubs, the word was picked up organically and spread internationally. Places like Food and Wine, CNN, Eater, Thrillist and even News Dubai gave us a shoutout. You know that old ad trope of “activate locally to build buzz nationally?” Yeah, we actually did that.
While turning mayo-obsessed fans into lifetime billboards is far from traditional advertising, it worked. The stunt got over 360 million impressions and over three thousand shares across Reddit, Twitter and Instagram. The total chatter was equivalent to nearly 700 thousand dollars in ad spend. In reality the only dollars we spent went to Yellowbird Tattoo for their hard work, artistry, and help with pulling off this crazy stunt.
And for folks who missed in Richmond, we’ll be bringing the tattoo pop-up to other cities in the South next year.