- Oscar Mayer announced a cryptocurrency called Bacoin that's backed by the "gold standard" of the Kraft Heinz brand's bacon, per news made available to Marketing Dive.
- Consumers can mine, track the value and cash out their Bacoin for real packs of Oscar Mayer bacon at a special webpage on the Kraft Heinz website. They're encouraged to share their Bacoin investments on Twitter to boost the value of the cryptocurrency.
- At press time, the value of one Bacoin was equal to 10 slices of bacon. The promotion was announced via a digital video featuring Bacoin architect and "digital prophet" Keith Sizzle, who explains how the cryptocurrency works and how he came up with the idea after realizing Oscar Mayer bacon was "money."
Oscar Mayer is at once making fun of the current cryptocurrency craze while also turning it into a promotional tool and leveraging social media to encourage followers to drive up brand awareness and the value of Bacoin. The fictional Sizzle is an obvious parody of Silicon Valley-type tech gurus and other digital prophets, and his self-aggrandizing spot has fun with the over-inflated sense of worth — and frequent scams — that have emerged out of the crypto space as it's gained more mainstream recognition.
The idea of a currency based on bacon actually has some historical precedent, as trading in pork bellies, often used to make bacon, is nothing new. From 1961 to 2011, pork bellies were traded as a commodity on the futures market, per Investopedia. Bacoin follows several other bacon-themed marketing stunts from Oscar Mayer aimed at boosting social media chatter and emphasizing the quality of its product. Last year, the brand created a video generator where users could convert text into messages that would appear in a "bacon font" that could be shared on social media.
While plenty of brands are dabbling with cryptocurrency and its underlying technology blockchain to bolster their business, others, like Oscar Mayer, appear to largely be using them for marketing stunts. KFC Canada in January introduced a Bitcoin Bucket promotional item that offered meals for $20 worth of bitcoin, for example. The campaign highlighted a general lack of understanding about how bitcoin works. Burger King Russia also recently created a WhopperCoin tied to its rewards program.