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.

Microsoft’s Food Truck

Microsoft's Food Truck

Microsoft’s Food Truck

Check out Microsoft’s recently launched “Meet & Eat” ad campaign. Utilizing multiple food trucks throughout the country, Window’s OS mobile phones have a new marketing platform. Partnering with RoadStoves (www.roadstoves.com) for the food trucks, graphic wraps, and logistics, this new food truck advertising campaign brings the “gourmet street food” niche to a whole new level.

Advertising on Food Trucks

Advertising on Food Trucks has become big business. Fortune 500 companies such as Verizon, Frito-Lay, and gaming conglomerate NAMCO are just a few that have tossed their hats into the ring. Considered one of the most direct brand to consumer experiences, the onslaught of “gourmet” catering trucks with corporate branding have taken cities by storm.

At the helm of this trend is Los Angeles based RoadStoves. Food truck advertising has been a staple of their “soup to nuts” services since inception. With clients ranging from Frito-Lay to ESPN, branded food trucks have been seeing rolling city streets across the U.S. Advertising on food trucks, however, is not easy. The patchwork system of truck owners, truck leasing companies, commissaries, and different city, county, and state regulations make the service tricky. Additionally, operating a “corporate food truck” requires immense attention to brand management.

Looking ahead, the growth of the food truck industry throughout the U.S., Canada, and now slowly branching out to Europe and the Middle East is without question expanding the opportunities for advertising on food trucks. Whether seeking food trucks solutions through RoadStoves (www.roadstoves.com) or another service provider, be sure to review their client list, past corporate food truck launches, and strategy going forward to execute the “branded food truck” of you or your clients choice.

As far as “wrapping” catering trucks in corporate logos, typically the process involves simply applying a graphic vinyl (i.e. “3M” vinyl) over a period of a few days. Some damage to the underlying paint on the catering truck may occur, so when pricing out this service, be sure to quote the design, application, removal, and potential paint damage to the food truck. There are multiple “branding” companies, also check their client list and make sure they’re aware of the various permits on the food truck’s exterior that must remain visible and intact.

Finally, when staffing and executing a “corporate branded food truck”, be sure to inquire about the experience and backgrounds of the driver, cook, and brand ambassadors who will be representing the company being promoted via the “branded” food truck. This is the client’s “first and last” interaction via the food truck with their desired customers. Make sure the people with whom they interact properly represent the client.