- Two consumer brands are out with new holiday novelty items. Kraft Heinz-owned Oscar Mayer revealed a "BAEcon" Blanket and AB InBev's Busch beer debuted a Buschhhhh Cooler Stocking, according to information provided to Marketing Dive.
- Oscar Mayer's 15-pound weighted blanket, whose design features strips of bacon, and BAEcon moniker is timed for cuffing season, or the period of the year where singles seek out partners — nicknamed bae — to keep them company during the chilly, dark winter months. The campaign includes a social media sweepstakes where consumers have a chance to win the blanket by tweeting the hashtags #CuffOscar and #Sweepstakes.
- The insulated Buschhhhh Cooler Stocking, on the other hand, runs five feet long and is priced at $20 at the Busch online shop. It can keep a dozen cans of beer cold for up to four hours, the brewer said, and mounts to a fireplace or ledge via hooks. Busch is spreading word about the stocking on Instagram.
Oscar Mayer and Busch's new holiday product offerings take seasonal trends and turn them into tongue-in-cheek, brand-specific items that owners can either gift to others or use as seasonal conversation starters.
Weighted blankets have seen increased adoption among consumers in recent years, especially around the holidays. Growing traction has evolved the weighted blanket category from a niche largely serving the special needs community to a social media favorite on platforms like Instagram, as detailed last year in The Atlantic. Oscar Mayer is attempting to link that popularity to its bacon line and a period of the year when many people are seeking out dates.
Keep your standards golden this #CuffingSeason and cozy up with the only BAE you need.— Oscar Mayer (@oscarmayer) November 20, 2019
Tweet #CuffOscar + #Sweepstakes for a chance to win our custom weighted #BAEconBlanket ???????????? We'll wrap you in so much bacon love you can actually feel it. https://t.co/zhtnMZat4d pic.twitter.com/dJb0Vf01v3
Oscar Mayer has continued to focus on off-beat, experience-led marketing to increase appeal as consumer interest in processed packaged foods slides. In July, for instance, the brand made its signature Wienermobile vehicle available for rent on Airbnb around the Lollapalooza music festival. The Wienermobile is only one part of Oscar Mayer's WeinerFleet, which also includes a jetpack-flying Super Hotdogger.
Busch has similarly built out a quirky marketing playbook during a tough time for big beer sales and growth at parent company AB InBev. It unveiled a limited-edition "Busch Latte" in August, parodying vintage coffee ads to promote the re-labeled cans of Busch Light. The effort was accompanied by a social media campaign and #BuschLatte merchandise.
In July, the brand also launched a one-day "Pop Up Schop" selling Busch-branded merchandise, but hid the temporary store in a national forest for fans to find via clues doled out on Twitter. Selling the Buschhhhh Cooler Stocking online ahead of the holiday rush shows how the brewer is attempting to translate the idea to the e-commerce space, which is increasingly crucial to packaged food and beverage brands.