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StarKist joins other food purveyors in leveraging 360-degree video

StarKist?s Charlie the Tuna is now overlord of Charlie?s World, a digital environment created by the company that comes on the heels of another creative campaign held during the presidential election. Charlie?s World contributes to a recent trend of brands?especially food brands?in crafting 360-degree immersive experiences, perhaps in an attempt to better emulate sensory experiences.

?As America?s number one tuna brand, StarKist and our mascot Charlie the Tuna are committed to continuously bringing our passionate, loyal fans new and fun ways to engage with the brand,? said Michelle Faist, senior manager of corporate affairs at StarKist. ?We are focused on innovation, not only in our products and flavors, but across the board.
?Over the past year, 360-degree videos and websites have gained a lot of traction and interest from consumers,? she said. ?This trend was the perfect solution to immersing our audience and their children into the life of Charlie, our beloved spokes?fish,? who has been the face of our brand for more than 50 years. 

?We are constantly looking for ways to update Charlie in order to keep our iconic mascot relevant to our consumers across the decades?

Charlie?s World
The 360-degree platform allows for access to videos, activities for children, recipes and other legacy brand content, all available in a mobile-optimized carriage. Charlie the Tuna is situated front-and-center within Charlie?s World when users first visit.

Coral Park features content geared towards children such as downloadable printable mazes and placemats, Movie Lagoon features a selection of commercials featuring Charlie the Tuna, Moms Cove provides recipes for mothers to make for their children, and certain sections of content such as Charlie?s Studio and Charlie?s Pals are not yet accessible.

There is also a section that enumerates the mascot?s history, beginning with the character?s origins through the brand?s relationship with advertising legend Leo Burnett. 

Also included is a feature common to the 360-degree offerings of many of StarKist?s ilk: a online and mobile ordering module, which directs the user to WalMart or Amazon.
?We spent months perfecting Charlie?s World, so it is truly representative of StarKist, Charlie and his friends,? Ms. Faist said. ?This fun, innovative, relevant platform allows us to connect with our consumers on another level by not only humanizing the brand, but also elevating our story and providing a deeper understanding of what we represent: tradition of quality and consumer trust.?

New trend
Hormel Foods also did something similar in introducing a series of flavorscapes in promotion of its new Black Label Bacon, a thick-cut premium bacon line (see story). 

And IHOP took a similar tack, pairing a photo contest with a 360-degree video from within a franchise location (see story). 

?Brand recognition and engagement is extremely important to StarKist,? Ms. Faist said. ?There is tremendous value in understanding our consumers, their perception of our products and their brand engagement and then optimizing our efforts based on those insights. 

?We are the number one tuna brand because we have always put our consumers first and are continually looking to innovate. The 360-degree Charlie?s World site is a fun way to bring some levity to traditional marketing tactics and truly immerse our consumers into the StarKist brand.?