What’s the best way to campaign for Emmy nominations? Themed Food Truck Promotions, of course!

House of cards food truckJust ask Netflix. The company recently promoted their acclaimed show “House of Cards” for Emmy consideration with a free lunch from a gourmet food truck for any eligible voter. As a clever tie-in to the show, the truck masqueraded as Freddy’s BBQ, a fictional barbeque restaurant frequented by the character Frank Underwood, played by Kevin House of cards food truckSpacey. The House of Cards food truck was not only a great success it is also an example of food truck advertising done right.

While not the first show to use a food truck promotion (HBO’s “Dexter” once used an ice cream truck and Netflix also previously set up frozen banana stands to promote Arrested Development), this particular food truck went the extra mile to impress. “I appreciate your vote,” adorned the rented food truck, custom designed by food truck industry leaders, Roadstoves, along with menacing images of Underwood and his wife, played by Robin Wright. They didn’t skimp on the fare, either, offering ribs from the Rollin’ Rib BBQ food truck and were said to have even made the occasional home delivery to certain voters.

Most importantly, the promotional food truck, along with other marketing House of cards food truckefforts, resulted in nine nominations overall. “House of Cards” also made Emmy Award history, for being the first digitally distributed series to earn a major nomination. Not bad for a 10 day food truck rental and a little bit of marketing know-how.

But did Netflix’ campaigning go too far with their food truck promo stunt? The TV academy currently has no rules or limitations in place. And even if it did, it is probably best answered by Robin Wright’s character on the show, Claire Underwood, “my husband doesn’t apologize, not even to me.”

Be sure to catch The 65th Primetime Emmy® Awards this Sunday and see how they fare.

Update:
Congratulations to “House of Cards” and David Fincher for the Best Directing win at the Emmys! “House of Cards” also won for Casting and Cinematography at the Creative Arts Emmys.

Featured Food Truck: Petaluma Poultry “Support Your Local Chicken”

food truck apps

Petaluma Poultry Co is the latest company to take to the streets to promote their product with their “Support your local chicken” food truck campaign at the 39th Solano Ave Stroll event in San Francisco.

food truck appsThe one day event has been called the “oldest and largest street festival in the San Francisco bay area” and Petaluma was one of 50 official vendors as well as a key sponsor for the 2013 event. The Solano Stroll attracts thousands of guests from within California as well as surrounding states to a two mile stretch in Berkeley, California.

Their efforts were not in vain, as they served over 2000 people in a single afternoon from a well-branded, custom designed rented food truck. Offering their very own organic chicken food truck appssandwiches on King’s Hawaiian buns with original BBQ sauce and deep fried chicken wings with homemade dipping sauces, the campaign was short but effective.

In recent years the event has embraced gourmet food trucks, making the addition of the Petaluma promotional food truck seamless. Indeed, it was no small feat. Advertising on food trucks can be a time-consuming project with much to consider, including: cost of rental, permits, design fees and installation, training and staffing, catering food truck appsand various legal concerns.

To maximize ROI, the 40 year old organic poultry company turned to Roadstoves, another company with decades of experience. Roadstoves provided the truck, graphics (design and installation), staff, and training for the Petaluma promo as they have done in the past for various corporate food truck promotions.

Congratulations to Petaluma on their successful food truck promotion!

Featured Food Truck: Hot Pockets

Hot Pockets Food Truck

The spotlight this week is on Nestle USA’s Hot Pocket truck; the latest promotional food truck to hit the street to promote a product. The company partnered with food truck experts, Road Stoves, to brand, set up and staff a truck for the day-long event in Hollywood to showcase the changes made to the popular product and reach a young foodie market.

The re-launch of Hot Pockets with better ingredients (including two new types of crust) is aimed at a younger “millennial” clientele; a market that is known to have a strong connection to gourmet food trucks.

Indeed it is a market that is hard to reach with traditional marketing. Even social media marketing falls short at times with every major brand vying for attention on crowded social networks. Street marketing with food trucks is not just trendy, it also works. It is no wonder that brands like Microsoft, Fritolay, and ESPN have hit the streets with short-term food truck rentals for various promotions.

It’s getting even easier for any size company to rent a food truck for a day, week or month to start their own street campaign with the recent launch of FoodTruckRental.com. It’s also a great way for food truck owners to rent out food trucks directly and potentially make over $1000 for a single day’s rental.

While it seems like a big project to undertake, renting a food truck for a promotion is easier than one might think. Road Stoves had the Hot Pocket food truck designed, wrapped, stocked and ready to go in less than a week. Throw in Jeff Mauro from Food Network’s “Sandwich King” and this food truck marketing campaign was set to make its mark among L.A.’s street food aficionados.