- White Castle is collaborating with Grammy-award winning artist Coolio to promote the restaurant chain's Thanksgiving stuffing recipe using sliders, a popular menu item, the company announced in a press release.
- The rapper, who is also the former host of the "Cookin' with Coolio" web series, will demonstrate online how to make the recipe at home.
- The fast food brand is also enlisting social media influencer Tim Chantarangsu to post on YouTube about his Fancy Friendsgiving celebration and encourage consumers to share their Thanksgiving twists using the hashtag #WhiteCastleFriendsgiving. One participant will win a limited-edition Cravey Boat, the company said.
With its Thanksgiving campaign, White Castle wants to help customers rethink their holiday celebrations whether they're doing so alone, virtually or with a small group of loved ones, Jamie Richardson, vice president at White Castle, said in a statement.
The restaurant's effort blends the nostalgia of Coolio's '90s rap career and more recent experience as a cooking show host with modern social media culture ushered in via YouTuber Chantarangsu. The effort reflects how it has been 30 years since White Castle first released a recipe for Thanksgiving stuffing made with the original sliders, while also recognizing that tastes have changed in the ensuing decades. Last year, the chain introduced a new recipe using its Impossible Slider for Cravers to reach a new generation, according to the press release.
It remains to be seen whether White Castle's strategy will succeed in bridging the gap between Gen Zers and older consumers. Morning Consult research suggests that nostalgia is not as effective on Gen Z as it is for other generations, which means legacy brands will need to be careful about how much they use it. Other brands, including General Mills, Budweiser, KitKat and Miller Lite, have dabbled with the nostalgia trend this year, too.
Still, influencer marketing remains a popular tactic with brands looking to engage younger consumers, with food influencers one of the more popular segments. Recent Takumi research shows that 73% of marketers in the U.K., U.S. and Germany are dedicating more resources to influencer marketing than last year.
With Thanksgiving celebrations set to look different this year because of the pandemic, White Castle is leaning on influencers to inspire fans hosting virtual or small gatherings. The campaign also promotes the brand's Craver Nation loyalty program, which will give new members a free combo meal when they enroll.