iJustine Tells Us How to Eat A Carl's Jr. Burger
Working with YouTube, Justine Ezarik (iJustine) created a video for Carl's Jr. in which she plays the duel role of Carl's Jr. employee and customer. She perfectly epitomizes the valley girl of yesteryear and, at the same time, the confused customer of today.
Entitled How to Eat a Burger, the video - following the employee/customer exchange - tells us how to eat a burger iJustine style. Yea, she likes to eat her burger with a fork, knife and lots of ketchup. LOTS and LOTS of ketchup. Never quite understood that method but hey, to each their own.
At the end, the video is tagged with a YouTube scroll that states the video was sponsored by Carl's Jr., something we didn't initially notice at first and had to ask Justine, herself, about her sponsorship involvement which she was happy to clarify.
We like the approach. You know it's, technically, a commercial but it doesn't feel like one. If you've followed Justine's work for any length of time, the video mirrors her personal style and because of that, this video doesn't scream, "sell out."
The strategy employed here follows a time-tested but often overlooked approach; identify someone who already has a large and loyal following (think celebrity endorsements) and find a way to work with them. This approach is increasingly important (and quite simple to execute) as social media (or whatever you want to label it) grows.
Micro-celebrities, like the very popular Matt Harding who danced his way around the world for Stride gum, are an important options as traditional methods of marketing become increasingly ineffective. It's simple really. People like people. They don't like advertising. If the people they like endorse (in the right way...which is key) something, they are much more likely to give that product a try.
This is nothing new. Before "social media," there was word of mouth marketing and buzz marketing. It happened offline as well as online. But because the tools and technologies that make it very easy for people to connect and follow one another were not yet in place, those connections were not as tight or as long lasting.
The notion advertising should never entwine itself with personal relationships is becoming less of a pillar in this business. Some are embracing the shift away from walled gardens. Some continue to rail against it. We don't have the perfect solution. No one does. And those who claim to simply don't know what they're talking about. We are in the midst of a giant marketing experiment and the results won't be in for a very, very long time.
So for Justine to hook up with Carl's Jr.? We think that's a very good thing. Done right, these partnerships can far surpass the success of traditional approaches. We think she did this right.