Magazine article Marketing

Spam Uses Social Media to Build Online Fanbase

Magazine article Marketing

Spam Uses Social Media to Build Online Fanbase

Article excerpt

Spam has become the latest retro brand to implement a social media strategy to tell the brand's story and widen its appeal.

The 70-year-old canned-meat brand, which is owned by Hormel Foods and was introduced to the UK in 1941, plans to play on its heritage and strengthen its fanbase via social media.

The activity, devised by digital agency I Spy, will focus on promoting the 'character of the brand' through coupon distribution, competitions and special events, centred on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

It will be accompanied by offline activity, including TV ads by Spam's incumbent creative agency, Underground.

Spam already enjoys a sizable following on both Facebook and Twitter, with many unofficial fan sites dedicated to it.

As well as engaging younger consumers, the activity is intended to reach out to the over-55s, who are now using social networks in increasing numbers.

'We have long known that a significant proportion of our core market is using Facebook and other social media,' said Marianne Pollock, the brand's international marketing manager. 'Spam has a fiercely loyal market in the UK, as evidenced by the popularity of the Spam fan club.'

Sales of canned meats have enjoyed a resurgence in the UK over the past few years, according to Mintel. Between 2007 and 2009, sales of 'hot' canned meat products grew by 12%, while sales of cold canned meats increased by 4%.

In 2004, Spam advertised on television for the first time as part of a pounds 2m push. …

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