- Impossible Foods and White Castle are teaming up with hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan on a four-part online series, "Wu Tang in Space Eating Impossible Sliders," to celebrate the fast food chain adding the Impossible Slider to its menu, according to a news release provided to Marketing Dive. The first episode was released Oct. 3.
- The series stars Wu-Tang Clan members RZA, GZA and Ghostface Killah aboard their spaceship, called the Wu-F-O, orbiting Earth and eating Impossible Sliders and answering fan questions left at 1-833-4-SLIDER. RZA posted a teaser video on Instagram to encourage people to ask questions, which range from "what is the meaning of life" to "what is my dog thinking." The first episode focuses on the theme of perspective, as the trio takes relevant fan questions, invites a 6-year-old onboard and watches a "moonfight" between extraterrestrials. Future episode themes will focus on Earth vs. Mars, infinity and evolution.
- The video series was filmed in the style of 1960s and '70s science fiction TV shows and created by Impossible Foods' all-female creative department. The series was directed by Sam Spiegel and produced by Hey Wonderful. The space-themed campaign was inspired by Impossible Foods' vision to create a new way of living and eating that protects the future of Earth. Fans are encouraged to share their thoughts via social media using hashtag #ImpossibleSlider.
White Castle's campaign is the latest in a string of marketing stunts by fast food chains like Wendy's and Burger King to draw in younger consumers. With more dining options to choose from, companies are pressed to stand out beyond the typical burger and fries fare, especially as their numbers dip.
By partnering with Impossible Foods, the startup behind the plant-based Impossible Burger, the company is also banking on the growing number of diners who want their foods paired with sustainability, perceived health benefits and convenience. Gen Zers and millennials, who are visiting fast food restaurants more frequently than older generations, are driving the market for plant-based meat alternatives, as they are more interested in vegan diets and clean eating. The meat-substitute market is projected to grow 8.4% annually, reaching $5.2 billion globally by 2020, according to Allied Market Research data cited by Business Insider.
White Castle's choice to use popular '90s rap group Wu-Tang Clan in its series and engage fans on social media also shows the burger joint is clearly targeting a younger, more tech-savvy demographic. Video series are becoming increasingly popular with marketers, as a way to provide unique brand experiences. The interactive element of inviting consumer questions that will be featured on the series has already attracted some attention and may drum up social media chatter.
With the a retro sci-fi styled series, White Castle and Impossible Foods are the latest brands to embrace nostalgia in their marketing. Reebok this week also released its own video series to bring back its Aztrek sneakers from the '90s. White Castle has also used TV show parodies in other recent marketing campaigns. The restaurant chain ran a 42-minute Facebook Live show in June that resembled a home-shopping show to promote its Chicken Rings. The show featured live callers, a fashion show, personal testimonies and more. For it's April Fools' Day prank, the brand released an infomercial-style YouTube video to promote its 100% White Castle Whey Protein Powder, which contains the "power of 27 sliders with a touch of onions."