You’ve Got Chili Cheese Mail

Discussion
Sep 30, 2005
George Anderson

By George Anderson


Have you been chili-cheesified today? If you haven’t (and no one here is saying you should) then perhaps you should follow the email message that came our way recently. “Check this site out – this is hilarious! www.chilicheesification.com!”


Chili-Cheesification, as visitors to the site with the same name soon learn, is “the state of pleasure experienced upon adding zesty, meaty chili and fresh shredded cheddar cheese.”


Those seeking such pleasures are directed to the 420-plus Krystal restaurants located throughout the Southeast, but not before seeing some of the non-traditional uses of chili with cheese in a running video with soundtrack.


Among the many things visitors learn they can do with chili and cheese, besides eating it, is play on a chili-cheese slide, soak in a chili-cheese Tub, test their flexibility and balance in a game of chili-cheese Twister, and beat each other in a playful manner with chili-cheese noodles.


“The Krystal brand is all about friends, fun and indulgently delicious food that you simply can’t get anywhere else,” said Mike Williams, vice president of marketing, The Krystal Company. “When we were shooting for our point-of-purchase materials, we gave them mounds and mounds of chili-cheese and then set them free. What you see is what happens when a group of friends indulge themselves in a little fun and a lot of chili-cheese.”


The Web site with video and an offer for a free chili-cheesification t-shirt is an example of a retailer attempting to use viral marketing to get its word out.


“Our customers love the variety of our menu and the unique size of our food, but most of all, they love the big taste of everything we offer. Our Chili-Cheesification promotion celebrates this by taking the big taste of Krystal favorites like the Famous Krystal Hamburger even more over the top with zesty, mouthwatering chili and fresh shredded cheddar cheese.” 


Moderator’s Comment: After visiting www.chilicheesification.com, what is your evaluation
of the site and the company’s attempt at viral marketing? What retailers or other consumer brands have done the best job of viral marketing in your opinion? Why?


After peeking over our shoulder while visiting the chili-cheesification site, our nine and 12-year-old wanted to know if there were any of those restaurants
around us. Pretty good testimonial for creating the desire if not actual trial if you ask us.

George Anderson – Moderator

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9 Comments on "You’ve Got Chili Cheese Mail"


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Al McClain
Guest
Al McClain
15 years 5 months ago

It’s clearly targeted at kids, and it’s meant to be fun. Right in line with some of the wacky stuff I presume kids do these days. Only criticism I have of the program is the Krystal spokesperson, who seems to take the campaign a little too seriously. Which is not limited to this campaign by the way. People who write press releases need to lighten up, have a little fun, and not always act as if their company just invented cold fusion.

Bernice Hurst
Guest
15 years 5 months ago

Totally gross and not somewhere that I would eat myself or let my kids go to.

M. Jericho Banks PhD
Guest
M. Jericho Banks PhD
15 years 5 months ago

What happens when adolescent Krystal kustomers take this promotion literally and begin chili-cheese food fights in the stores?

Steve Weiss
Guest
Steve Weiss
15 years 5 months ago

Two huge negatives:

1) They belittle the product they are promoting.

2) This is food, after all. Somebody wants to eat this stuff after people have been playing Twister in it? Sheesh.

Karen Kingsley
Guest
Karen Kingsley
15 years 5 months ago

Not being in their target market, I’ve not been exposed to any of the efforts designed to get me to the site. Maybe they’re really clever. I find the site to be less than interesting, and not worthy of creating viral interest. The dancing chicken, for example, was fun because you could make it to do something. So people forwarded it. This site, while possibly amusing to 10 year olds, gives viewers no reason to forward it.

George Anderson
Guest
George Anderson
15 years 5 months ago

It’s not everyday you see kids hanging out in a tub of chili. While having to admit that I was a bit grossed out by the scene, I also must be honest and say I plan on giving Krystal a try the next time I’m down south.

Greg Coghill
Guest
Greg Coghill
15 years 5 months ago

This would certainly not be my idea of a good viral marketing campaign. I would not send this to friends nor frequent the establishment more as a result.

Erin Kotch
Guest
Erin Kotch
15 years 5 months ago

As a Cincinnati native, home of the 5-way spaghetti, the concept of adding chili and cheese to anything isn’t exactly attention-grabbing! But this chain doesn’t have any presence up here, so I suppose it doesn’t matter. If they were up here, Skyline Chili would absolutely destroy the campaign.

I do like the creative way they are reaching out. I can imagine it would create some buzz, especially among teens, with some of the more outrageous suggestions. I give them a B, but then again, I am hardly shocked by chili and cheese!

Mark Lilien
Guest
15 years 5 months ago

The best viral marketing on a consistent basis is done by the musicians (and their publicists) on myspace.com. The site is a phenomenal growth story, with minimal paid advertising directing people to it, and the music promotion is done at no cost to the musicians involved. There is no significant music retailer involvement, to my knowledge, but the site sells music very well.

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