- White Castle set up an OnlyFans account to share a custom spicy stuffing recipe ahead of Thanksgiving, according to a news release. The chain claims this is one of the first brand activations of its kind on the subscription-based social media platform that is typically associated with adult content.
- The safe-for-work video stars Manny Washington Jr., district chief for the Orlando Fire Department and a social media microinfluencer, as he shows off White Castle's "spicy side" by detailing how to make a new Southwest Jalapeño Cheese Slider Stuffing. Washington, who has 15,000 Instagram followers, also filmed a prep routine for a separate Bacon Jalapeño Cheese Slider Stuffing dish that has a milder flavor. It is posted to White Castle's YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
- Developed with agency of record Blue Chip, the campaign marks the 30th anniversary of the first official stuffing recipe featuring White Castle sliders, a concept the brand has continued to iterate on, including through the introduction of a vegetarian and vegan-friendly option in 2019. Tapping into OnlyFans suggests White Castle is taking a more mobile-forward approach this year while also trying to gin up conversation around an app that has frequently proved controversial.
White Castle is adding some edge to its usual Thanksgiving marketing activities by registering on OnlyFans, a subscription-based platform that is predominantly used for sharing pornography. In the announcement, the fast food brand made winking references to "spicy" and "steamy" activities while reinforcing that those qualities are strictly related to the recipes themselves, whereas the video itself is very PG.
OnlyFans has proved popular in an internet economy increasingly driven by individual influencers. It has more than 2 million creators and 180 million registered users who pay to view their posts, per the press release. The company has pushed to expand its purview beyond adult-oriented content while attracting bigger-name celebrities, such as Cardi B. Earlier this year, the platform said it would ban "sexually explicit" material under pressure from banking and payment providers, a decision it quickly reneged on amid a media firestorm and intense backlash from users and creators.
White Castle was in some ways beaten to the punch on leveraging the site for branding purposes. Carl's Jr, a rival that once ran highly suggestive TV commercials, set up an account earlier this year for sharing innuendo-laden posts.
On the other hand, it's possible that OnlyFans users simply aren't interested in hearing from marketers on the channel, regardless of how cheeky their execution is. White Castle's page, which is free to access with a subscription, has attracted only nine likes since going live last week.
After Thanksgiving, White Castle will make its stuffing recipes with Washington widely available via YouTube. The brand is additionally having a "fire sale" on a 100th-birthday edition of its Cravey Boat, a product riffing on the traditional gravy boat that is sold through its e-commerce site.