Tag Archives: case study

Case Study: A.1 Steak Sauce “Unfriend” Campaign

By: Kaitlyn Bouchillon

Purpose of the Campaign:

After 50 years of being known as the leading steak sauce, A.1 chose to rebrand themselves as the perfect sauce for several foods including fish, pork, and turkey.


How They Did It:

In May 2014, A.1 Steak Sauce launched an “Unfriend” campaign to promote their label change – from A.1 Steak Sauce to A.1 Original Sauce. Because most consumers immediately think “steak sauce,” A.1 wanted to shift thinking toward the sauce being the best compliment for almost all foods. The tagline for the campaign was and still is: For almost everything. Almost.

By creating a YouTube video that featured their Facebook page, A.1 integrated multiple forms of social media. In the video, the relationship between A.1 and Steak is complicated. When A.1 begins receiving and accepting “friend requests” from other meats – such as Pork and Salmon – Steak becomes upset. However, by the end of the video viewers see all the different foods and meats getting along well with A.1 Original Sauce.


In the video, A.1 incorporated a Spotify playlist that was then shared on their Facebook page for fans to enjoy.

They have continued this campaign by posting images on their Facebook page. Examples include:

In addition, A.1 created a Pinterest page with boards that feature foods the Original Sauce will go well with.

Did It Work?:

Although I was not able to find concrete statistics on how this campaign turned out, we can see from several videos and posts that fans enjoyed the “Unfriend” campaign.

  • The YouTube video has been viewed over 1.3 million times.
  • One source says that the YouTube video was viewed over 100,000 times in a couple weeks.
  • A.1 posted the video to their Facebook page multiple times, the first receiving 3,161 likes and 779 shares, and the second receiving 3,834 likes and 887 shares.
  • When the video was created, it shows that the A.1 Facebook page had 154,405 likes. At this time – November 19, 2014 – the page has 165,659 likes. Although this might not be a direction result of the campaign, their Facebook presence has certainly increased in just 5 months.

Finally, the A.1 Steak Sauce “Unfriend” Campaign was named one of the top Social Media Campaigns of 2014.

“Often times, it’s difficult to rebrand a product that’s been used one way for many years. Using wit and humor on social media to reveal this new brand messaging was a great way to get customers on board. The Pinterest page, featuring easily accessible recipes, helps open customers’ minds to using A.1. with other foods.”


Case Study #1 by Emily Duval

Name of the Business: 

Whole Foods Market, specifically “Whole Story Blog”

Whole Foods is a U.S. supermarket chain specializing in natural, organic foods and products.


The main audience has always been people passionate about living a healthy lifestyle. The blog aims to attract those who love to cook, especially with gourmet or allergy-free ingredients. The Whole Story blog reaches out to a socially conscious young audience, looking to make a difference with the products they buy.

Content of the Blog:

The content shared directly on the blog consists mainly of written posts, but almost every post has a colorful photo that draws the reader in. The written content covers everything from social issues, to lifestyle, to recipes, and personal Whole Foods experiences. This is all organized in the “Posts by Category” tab that makes what the reader is interested in easy to get to.

While written content is the focus the blog has links to podcasts and video, that open into new tabs. One thing that is unique is a link to coupons for the store. The link opens into “The Whole Deal” site that is updated with new coupons to the store daily and includes tips on saving while shopping in the store.

How often the blog is updated:

The blog is updated 1-3 times daily with consistent posts. The posts rotate through a series of writer, so not every post is in the same voice. One can click on a link to get the bio of the author, or click on another link that leads you to more articles by that author. This helps provide some consistency in the writing.

The Story Told:

The brand, Whole Foods is obviously passionate and proud of their story in the way they present the “Whole Story” blog. Through the blog they tell a story of living healthy body and  soul. Their recipes focus on simple ingredients that are good for you. They also share what the brand is doing to give back to their customers through savings opportunities as well as the numerous social projects the brand participates in to give back to the world.

Content Marketing vs. Brand Storytelling: 

This blog does not choose content marketing or brand storytelling, but rather weaves them together. Whole Foods identifies their brand not just with their product, but through what they do in the community.

They use brand storytelling to share the socially conscious mission of Whole Foods and how the consumer can join in the effort. Posts like this one show how through buying products like this pineapple, can benefit the education of children in Costa Rica. It is similar to the TOMS, one for one model. Content marketing is used when recipes are posted, but also in a more educational way. Posts like this one educate readers on products that might not be the healthiest for them and why their products are.

Whole Foods does a great job of creating a community. Through their blog, they tell the audience who they are, but also how the audience can get involved in the mission too.

Case Study #1 by Megan Gagliardi


Name of the business:

ShortStack, specifically the SociallyStacked blog – http://www.sociallystacked.com

Fun fact – SociallyStacked & ShortStack refers to pancakes; one of the co-founders is known for making pancakes for his daughter and the name stuck!

Product or service offered:

Socially Stacked is a business blog for Short Stack; essentially, Short Stack is a self-service platform that helps build social, web, and mobile based campaigns. You can create sweepstakes, newsletters, and forms on this site.

Key Features of the blog:

1) Very Organized

2) Subdivided into 5 tabs that were easy to navigate: Home, Social Media Tips, Facebook News, Free Resources, and About Us

3) Call to action to sign up for Newsletters

4) Popular Posts tab that take users to informative articles. Examples include: “The Best Words to Use for Facebook Titles” and “The Data You Collect from a Timeline Promotion Could Change The Way You Do Business.”

Ideal target audience 

SociallyStacked is meant for anybody who wants to be socially media savvy. It’s also designed for businesses such as designers, small businesses, or agencies that are looking to boost their online campaigns.

Types of content on this blog

Social Media Tips

  • Infographics on things such as the types of content that get the best ROI
  • Social media tools you need to succeed
  • How to create perfect posts
  • Opinions from Gary Vaynerchuk
  • Successful Sweepstake Campaign Tips

Facebook News 

Free Resources 

  • free wallpapers
  • free ebooks
  • Downloadable PDFs
  • recommended apps to download

How often is content updated?

Socially Stacked has lots of different authors that add content; there’s even a feature at the bottom of the page where you can sign up to write for them. Items get posted everyday except for Saturdays and Sundays; no exact time stamp is placed on the post.

What story does the blog tell you about the brand?

In my opinion, this blog shows that this brand is very well well-run. Postings are very consistent and almost every post that I read contained helpful information that was laid out in an organized manner and featured infographics that helped me understand things better.

To the right of the blog, they broke every post down into categories that were then clearly-labeled. They had calls to action (Find us on Facebook) as well as an embedded link that allowed you to Like their page directly from the blog. The latest free e-book was featured below their Facebook call to action. Everything looked very professional, colorful, and visually appealing!

Brand Journalism versus Content Marketing

This blog is a great example of brand journalism. It contains factual/compelling articles and features some multimedia pictures and infographics (however, no audio or video). The blog posts make me want to read more due to the their easy-to-understand nature and playful (but, colorful) design template. It doesn’t seem like they are pushing their product on me, however, it is promoted well enough to the point where I want to sign up for e-mail subscriptions.

Along with brand journalism, this blog does represent an example of content marketing. In class, we learned that content marketing are the trees along the path of brand journalism; they work in coordination with one another. SociallyStacked knows their audience and their blogs are shown to draw sales. This blog is great in the fact that it is owned media – they create all of their posts! Their call-to-action buttons on social media and free e-books are just one way they achieve the objective of driving profitable customer action.

Case Study # 1 by Taylor Vassey

Business Name

Virgin America


Service Offered

Virgin America is an airline that offers fights from San Francisco to hotspots in America.

“Live it up at 35,000 feet with fleetwide WiFi, on-demand entertainment, and more on every flight.”

Target Audience

The blog focuses on the younger “modern” generation. Ideal customers are people that desire a cheep and exciting flight experience, and are around the San Francisco area.

Types of Content on the Blog

There are nine creatively named categories on the blog to organize all that is posted.

There is a vast amount of content on the blog, but it all comes back to the business. On on spectrum an article is written about the fresh new fall food offered in first class. On the other end is an article about the companies seven year anniversary.

On the side bar of the blog, there are a few snippets of their Twitter.


This blog is updated sporadically. There is not a constancy with updates.

The Story Being Told

Virgin America is about having the best flight experience possible.  The content of the blog shows all the new and innovative experiences one could find on the plane. This shows that flights do not have to be dull, uninteresting and have stale food but can be vivacious and entertaining. They are set apart from the other airline companies.

Content Marketing

Virgin America does a great job with content marketing and brand journalism. There is a focus on what is offered and what would most appeal to the target audience, and another focus on reaching out to the public through Twitter. The content is extremely helpful to aid the consumer know what they are receiving if they choose to fly with Virgin America.

Case Study #1 by Natalie Elyse Wilkinson


Name of business:

The Walt Disney Company, focusing specifically on the Disney Parks Blog.

This blog is specifically focused on blogging for Disneyland resorts, Walt Disney World and Disney cruise lines for The Walt Disney Company, which calls itself a “mass media” corporation.


The Disney Parks Blog is targeted towards two categories of people. Firstly, this blog is for adults planning a vacation to one of the Disney parks, resorts or cruises.  This includes adults planning trips for themselves, for their families and kids, etc. Secondly, this blog is for Disney Parks enthusiasts.  These are the people who want to constantly be updated on events and happenings at the Disney vacation locations, even if they are not in the process of planning a trip to one of these places.  Surprisingly, this blog is not trying to reach children, as it seems that a Disney blog would; it focuses on reaching people who are old enough to be able to plan a trip to one of the Disney locations.

Blog Content:

This blog has 39 different categories that their posts are filed under, which shows how much content variety this blog has, even though all the information still centers around the Disney parks, resorts and cruises. Some examples of categories are “Disney Dining,” “Behind the Scenes” and “Disney Vacation Club.”

Their content keeps people scrolling through their blog because of how creative it is.  Instead of only posting photos or text, the bloggers use many different means to present their information.  For example, there are videos of new attractions, “caption this” contests, travel tips, gifs, photo galleries of past events, basic news updates, polls, etc.  The list of ways in which they present content could go on for quite some time.

Although there are different categories, they almost seem unnecessary, and the sidebar to choose different categories is not extremely obvious if you’re not searching for it.  The content presented on the blog is so colorful, entertaining and has such a wide variety that it keeps readers looking through it, reading information that they may not have initially been searching for.

Blog Updates:

On week days, the blog is updated an average of 5 times per day (based on data from the past 14 week days the blog has posted.)  However, the blog is sometimes updated over 12 times in one day!  On Saturdays and Sundays, the blog is updated less frequently, averaging 2 posts per day.

Story Telling and Brand Journalism:

The Disney Parks Blog tells the story of how the Disney vacation locations are constantly evolving, are always vibrant and are simply great and fun places to be. By reading the blog’s posts, it is evident to readers that the Disney vacation spots have something for everyone, which is where brand journalism comes in.

This blog provides so much content variety that there is most likely something that appeals to all readers, whether they are already planning a trip to a Disney location or are just Disney enthusiasts. The content is geared towards making these people have a strong desire to go to Disney.  For example, if someone was considering planning a Disney trip and stopped by the blog, the blog’s tips and updates on events, as well as in-depth information about happenings at the vacation spots, would encourage the reader to go ahead and book their trip.  Likewise, if a reader was just a Disney enthusiast, the content would feed their love for Disney and likely cause them to start considering a trip to Disney. I know I definitely fell into that second category.  After reading the blog, I feel like I know so much more about all the amenities, events and secrets of the Disney parks.  So, I now really want to go to one of these places since I feel like my experience there would be made even better because of reading this blog.

Case Study #1: Alabama Chanin



Hannah Jones

Name of business:

Alabama Chanin

Alabama Chanin is a lifestyle company that produces items for the home and clothing that are made in the USA with organic materials.  All of the clothing is hand-sewn by artisans in the US and made to fit the customer.  They also offer DIY kits so people can sew their own pieces and workshops at their studio in Florence, Alabama.

Target Audience:

The target audience of Alabama Chanin is wealthy consumers concerned with the use of organic materials and American labor.  Most of the items for purchase have a high price tag, but the brand emphasizes their use of American artisans and organic products.


Alabama Chanin hosts a variety of content on their blog.  They do a weekly newsletter called The Factory, and another newsletter at the beginning of each month.  The monthly newsletter details what different events and new releases will happen over that month for the brand.  The weekly newsletter gives a detailed account of store hours, tours, and the café menu.  They also feature a “swatch of the month,” in which they explain how to sew the details on the fabric swatch from their book.

The blog, which they call Journal, also contains posts in which they introduce new products and explain in-depth why they chose to make this product and what makes it special.

They also feature posts that elaborate on where the materials for their clothing and other products come from.  They’ve done extensive journals about Alabama cotton and different fabrics they use.

There is an original photo to accompany every blog post.  The blog itself is very black-and-white and organized.  The pictures add a lot of color, and stand out against the background of the blog.

They’ll do posts about artists, organic items, and books.  There is a section on the blog dedicated to books and products that the brand recommends.

The blog features different categories on the side of the page including:

  • Beautiful Life
  • DIY + Sewing
  • In the Kitchen
  • Makeshift
  • Sustainable Life + Design
  • The Factory
  • The Heart
  • Travel + Other News

How often the blog is updated:

The blog is updated very frequently, nearly every day, with a variety of different content.  Rarely will one see two similar posts back-to-back.

Story it tells:

Alabama Chanin uses their blog to portray their brand as eco-friendly, natural, and home based.  They value materials that are from the US, specifically Alabama.  They also show profiles of the artisans that craft their products in an effort to make the brand more relatable.

The blog is very catered to the lifestyle of their customers.  Not every post talks about the products they offer.  They write about artists who take a similar view on DIY as they do, and fruits and vegetables that are grown in the US.

These posts don’t directly talk about their product, but do remind the reader of how whatever they are writing about in the post relates back to their product.  While they may not be advertising in everything they write on the blog, every post contains some form of endorsing their product.

I believe that nearly every post on the blog is successful at brand journalism and content marketing.  They shape the reader’s image of their brand, while also showing the reader the benefits of their products.

Case Study #1 By Sarah Korta


Name of Brand:

Ann Taylor (Owned by Parent Company, ANN INC.)


Products and Services Offered:

Ann Taylor is a women’s specialty retail store, offering the modern woman a large array of high-quality fashion pieces to fit her every-day lifestyle.

Target Audience:

Ann Taylor’s target audience is the modern woman. The high-quality collection offers a variety of business appropriate work-wear, while also offering an array of casual options. The clothing is ideal for students, teachers, businesswomen, stay-at-home moms, and any woman that enjoys fashion as well as functionality.

Types of Content:

“Look Both Ways” is the official blog for Ann Taylor. Throughout the blog, the contemporary woman will find a variety of easy-to-navigate content like engaging photos, how-to videos, info graphics, spotlights featuring fascinating and successful women across the county, as well as the latest fashion industry trends.

The How-To guides, photos, info graphics and videos all feature the latest Ann Taylor merchandise. This gives the fashionable woman inspiration to construct and piece together her own fashion creations using Ann Taylor product.

“Look Both Ways” also makes a point of showcasing other fashion websites similar to Ann Taylor, at the bottom of the page. On the right side of the page, readers will see readily accessible social media links, a live Twitter feed, and links to the various content categories.

Examples of the wide variety of categories featured on a weekly basis:

  • #15secondstyle
  • #ANNintransit
  • Lisa’s World
  • 3 Ways to Wear
  • Blogger Style
  • How-To
  • The Changemakers
  • Style for Students
  • Gift Ideas
  • Dressed-Up Denim
  • Chic this Week

How Often is Content Updated?

“Look Both Ways” is updated every two days, if not daily. The different types of content are updated weekly on a rotational schedule. For example, #ANNINTRANSIT is updated nearly every Wednesday, while “3 Ways To Wear” is updated every Monday. “Look Both Ways” does an impressive job in captivating the reader through their consistency in posting a large assortment of content. The reader will always know when to expect her favorite “How-To” guide or what trends are fresh off the runway. This ensures trust between the reader and Ann Taylor.

 Brand Story:

This blog tells the story of the modern woman. In 1954, ANN INC. was built around the idea of the “well-dressed woman”. Today, this idea is embodied through ANN’s mission statement: “To inspire and connect with our clients to put their best selves forward everyday.” The modern woman is constantly evolving, however, her values have mostly stayed the same. A woman wants to look and feel great when she is connecting with others. Women express themselves through their dress, whether at work, home or play.

The easy to wear, affordable pieces make it possible for any woman to be confident and successful, whether she be a CEO, a student or a stay-at-home mom.

Brand Journalism and Content Marketing:

Ann Taylor utilizes brand journalism in nearly every post they write. Every piece of content contributes to the idea that the average woman should be able to feel confident in her own skin. Through its blog posts, “Look Both Ways” acts as every woman’s personal stylist.

Strategically, “Look Both Ways” incorporates Ann Taylor product into virtually every post, making it effortless for the modern woman to re-create her favorite outfits. Every “How-to” and “#15secondstyle” post showcases the latest Ann Taylor clothing and accessories. If the reader feels compelled to buy Ann Taylor merchandise, she can simply click on the post’s link or scroll to the top of the page and click on various links that connect her to Ann Taylor’s online store.

Through brand journalism and content marketing, Ann Taylor has created an informative and unique style destination for the contemporary woman.

Case Study #1 by Kaitlyn Bouchillon


Name of the business:

General Electric, specifically their Tumblr page: http://generalelectric.tumblr.com

Slogan: imagination at work

General Electric, often called GE, builds appliances and leads the way in finding solutions for lighting, power systems, and other products. They are well-known for delivering a quarter of the world’s energy.


Their target audience is described as “a community for science and tech geeks.”

This Tumblr page does a great job of providing a variety of relevant and interesting content related to science and energy.

Content of the blog:

The content of the Tumblr is mostly images and graphics or GIFS. Almost all images are either futuristic or old black and white photos.

Some of the images are from outside sources but others are a behind-the-scenes look at GE plants or processes. The Tumblr also features videos from the GE YouTube channel.

Each post includes a caption and several tags. Often, the caption will include links that take the reader to other sources or to the GE website. All posts also include social media sharing buttons, making it easy for readers to share the Tumblr content on Facebook or Twitter, among other social media channels.

While there is a main GE Tumblr page, within the page they have ten different categories that are featured in the left side bar. The four main categories include:

Additionally, GE has two Tumblr streams that promote interaction with readers. #6SecondScienceFair encourages people to create a six second Vine about science and then upload it to the site where it can be viewed and shared. Their Tumblr also hosts #SpringBreakIt, which shows behind-the-scenes videos and images of how GE tests materials in their laboratories. These tests show how materials melt, bend and shatter.

Both of these hashtag categories are interactive while also promoting the GE brand.

How often the blog is updated:

The specific category streams are updated on average about every month, but some have not been updated since early 2014. The main page, however, is updated 1-2 times a day on average. There does not appear to be a set schedule, as they do not post on the same weekdays each week.

The story being told and brand journalism:

General Electric is focused on innovating, imagining and doing. Their Tumblr page promotes their own creations but also promotes creativity in others. It shows consistency in their brand identity and marketing by having the same four categories on both their website About Us overview and their Tumblr: Moving, Curing, Powering and Building.

They use Content Marketing by showing their own plants and behind-the-scenes images, but their variety of messages and pictures shows that they are also doing well in brand marketing. By featuring both their own content as well as the content of others, they appear knowledgeable and current in the category of technology and science. At the same time, they effectively show that technology can be fun through GIFs and their hashtag channels.

Case Study #1: Marriott on the Move (Yasmeen Ebada)


Name of business or brand: 

Marriott International Hotels. Blog name: Marriott on the move.

Product or service offered:

International hotel branch.

Target audience:

Anyone who travels a lot and stays in hotels (ex. businessmen), and it could also be anyone because the blog covers a lot of different categories. Some examples are: books, brands current affairs, diversity, education, employment, environment, favorites, film, food and drink, games, government, music, operations, personal religion, science, service, sports, technology, television, travel, web/tech, and weblogs.

Content shared on the blog:

Leadership and management tips, life lessons, personal and influential stories about Bill Marriot’s life.

The content update:

They post once a week and it could be in any category.

Story that the blog tells about the brand:

That they are not just trying to convince you to stay at the Marriott hotels. The different categories that you can pick to read from have absolutely nothing to do with Marriott hotels. They also want to hear from us. They want to hear about the people’s experiences while they stayed at the Marriott hotels, especially if it is bad so that they can work on ways to improve in those specific areas. The story that they are telling us shows us that Bill Marriott cares about the people and that’s what makes us want to stay there.

Brand journalism:

By posting all of these blogs about life lessons, leadership and management tips, best influential books and etc. they are indirectly convincing you that you should stay at the Marriott hotels. They make you learn more about Marriott hotels by talking about everything but the hotel itself. The life lessons and leadership blog posts make you want to stay at the Marriot hotel. That is how Bill Marriott indirectly convinces people to stay at the Marriott, by showing the reader that he cares about people as well.

@HiltonSuggests: A Concierge for the Social Age

By Julie Matthews

Concierge service is a fairly standard hotel accommodation. A Hilton Suggests Logotypical concierge assists guests of their hotel, often providing them with suggestions for various venues and services. Less standard, however, is the provision of a concierge that serves travelers regardless of guest status, often approaching them rather than the other way around. With this second type of concierge, Hilton Worldwide has built an innovative Twitter initiative.

Under the handle @HiltonSuggests, Hilton staff members tweet suggestions for everything from manicurists to photographers to travelers around the world. Vanessa Sain-Dieguez, Director of Social Media Planning & Integration at Hilton Worldwide, explains in a guest post on Edelman Digital that authenticity was an important concept in the creation of Hilton Suggests. In order to achieve this authenticity, tweets don’t come from a central headquarters. Instead, Sain-Dieguez writes, “Hilton Worldwide decided to give a voice to select employees in key markets and set out on a mission to build their very own Hilton Suggests team.” In using this team, Hilton Suggests is able to provide personal, conversational suggestions that draw on local knowledge.

There are two elements that make Hilton’s use of Twitter particularly effective:

  1. Useful Content
  2. Conversation

Hilton Suggests is designed to serve potential customers with useful information rather than blasting them with an unwanted sales pitch. This exemplifies a concept called Youtility. In “Is Youtility the Future of Marketing?,” Jay Baer writes of Youtility, “Sell something, and you make a customer. Help someone, and you make a customer for life.” In providing useful suggestions, Hilton is able to get its name in the minds of potential customers and potentially build loyalty and good will with existing customers. Customers are likely to go out of their way to avoid marketing that only profits the advertiser, but they may become engaged with or even seek out marketing that serves them.

In addition to providing Youtility, Hilton Suggests uses its Twitter account as a two-way conversation facilitator rather than a one-way megaphone. In “Social Media is a Conversation: Don’t Turn Your Back” on Social Media Today, Harry Kierbow advocates businesses using social media to have open dialogue with customers. He writes, “Don’t just throw your content out and walk away. Make sure you are accessible and responsive to any feedback coming from your fans.” Hilton Suggests doesn’t just spit out suggestions; instead, the Hilton Suggests team both seeks to start conversations with those looking for something and conversationally responds to tweets directed toward them. For a personal touch, tweets are signed with the initials of the team member that is tweeting.

In one case, user @tmonhollon, asked Hilton Suggests for a food truck recommendation, and a third party @DowntownCLE joined in with a suggestion. Rather than ignoring this and robotically providing an additional, unnecessary suggestion, Hilton Suggests wisely joined the conversation and complemented @DowntownCLE on their recommendation.

Several social media bloggers have taken notice of Hilton’s creative Twitter initiative. In a post on HootSource, Evan LePage proffers Hilton Suggests as an illustration of the fourth of eight tips for social business: engage to build a community. He describes the “non-sales oriented approach” of Hilton Suggests as “an engagement for engagement’s sake position.” In “Digital Concierge Creates Brand Loyalists,” Mackenzie Michel commends Hilton Suggests for going so far as to recommend a restaurant to a customer of a rival hotel. She writes that this increases the probability of that person choosing Hilton Hotels for a future trip. In “Why Just Being Useful is the Secret Marketing Edge for Hospitality,” a quote from Hilton Worldwide social media director Vanessa Sain-Dieguez is included that speaks to this strategy, “That’s where we can make a difference, because they’re not experiencing our hospitality within the hotel, and if you’re not in the hotel, you may not be getting the same service, and we could win you over.”

As of Sunday, September 29, 2013, these are the statistics on the @HiltonSuggests account:

  • 15,189 Tweets

Given its plethora of tweets, Hilton Suggests is clearly a very active project into which a lot of work has been invested. While its number of followers is modest, there is likely a group of people who use the service without following the account, due to the number of @replies it generates. Adapting to a changing social world, Hilton Worldwide has redefined hotel hospitality.