01 June 2010

My New Favourite Website

The Cheese & Burger Society is a marketing vehicle for Wisconsin Cheese. The beauty of it is that it never 'feels' like it's selling you something. Yet it does.

Oooooooooooo, but it does.

Like all great works of marketing, this site's single-minded objective is ever in focus: dress your burger with Wisconsin cheese.

Pop quiz:  it's your job to create a website that incites people to do that. What do you do?

The immediate answer is to create a recipe-destination site, with 'beauty' shots of burgers and easy-to-follow recipes. It's a great idea, which is why a gazillion other marketers have already done it.  Your brand might as well join the Witness Protection Program.  What the Wisconsin Cheese added was a not-so-secret ingredient:


With crisp visuals and deliciously simple design, the site tells the story of dozens of burgers, borrowing the irresistible voice of Patrick Warburton, in that rare class of 'born-funny' people who can generate a laugh with the casual twitch of an eyebrow. His credits include the voice of Joe Swanson in Family Guy, the pie-eating Agent 'T' in Men in Black II, and David Puddy, Elaine Benes' boyfriend in Seinfeld:

To those who are suckers for the Warburton style (your humble servant included), it's impossible to hear just one burger description.  It's so easy to flip from "The Couch Potato"  to "The Lumberjack" to "The Big Ben" for lovingly written 15-ish second descriptions.

The "sell" to the site is tucked neatly in a back pocket, and left there.  No "sign up here."  No being herded to a site listing cheeses, cheese manufacturers. No painfully mandatory "Meet the CEO" page.  Subtle branding like this requires enormous courage: you must hope people are so enamoured of your web content, that they consciously stop to wonder "who did this?"

The URL- www.cheeseandburger.com-  betrays nary a wiff of 'sell'.  Never does this site succumb to the temptation to insert any sort of in-your-face product pitch.  

Don't underestimate the importance of entertainment-driven online content.  The emphasis must be on courting, winning, and keeping each visitor.  The moment a website serves itself instead of its visitor- click- they're gone.  Faster than you can say bored-dot-com.

The site's strategy is so simple: Come for the laughs.  Stay for the cheeseburgers. Leave feeling good about Wisconsin Cheese.

It's a brilliant recipe.

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