You’ll find no About Us page on the Hampton Creek website. There’s no blog. No pop-up interrupts your visit insisting you share your email address.
Their home page doesn’t even have a headline. I’m not kidding.
The company sells food, but their home page doesn’t feature a single photo.
What does their home page offer? Just a few links. Just a manifesto. Just three product teasers: Just Mayo, Just Cookie Dough, and Just Cookies.
Just balls. Not huevos—balls. Courage. Bravado. See, they make mayo, “Just Mayo,” without eggs. Zero cholesterol. Zero carbs.
They say eating well should be easy.
They say they’re leading a movement to fundamentally change the world.
They also say they’ve created the fastest-growing food company on earth.
And as for marketing… what say these forerunners of sustainable food?
They say, “Dear ______________. “ (Pictured above.) The fine print says, “Click here to explore our open letters in the New York Times.” When you do so, you’re served links to their minimalistic, but brash ads—nine letters written by CEO and founder Josh Tetrick.
The white-on-black letters are addressed to: 2015, Food leaders, CEOs, You, 23-year-old, Mom, Great-Grandma, Presidential Candidates, Mom and President Obama.
Tetrick tells the chief, “Food needs a leader.” He writes, “If we started over, good food—for the body and our land—would be much less expensive than crappy food.” In his P.S., he offers the President (and the millions of NY Times readers) his phone number and email. Of course he does.
Josh ain’t joshing
As you might imagine, not everyone in the food business loves what Josh and his team are doing. One such antagonist in the Hampton Creek story is Unilever PLC, makers of Hellman’s mayonnaise. The company filed a suit against Hampton Creek claiming its product can’t be labeled “mayo” if it doesn’t contain eggs.
The case was dropped, but didn’t go unnoticed by the FDA, who stepped in with a letter suggesting changes to the product packaging. Hampton Creek complied. Issue resolved. But…
The story spread (Get it? Spread.)
Hampton Creek was threatened by the Egg Board, which is run by the USDA. Or so said The Washington Post and NPR. Egg-actly (sorry) what went down seems a bit unclear, but it became clear Fox Business took interest in the story.
In fact, Fox Business reporter Stuart Varney seemed particularly interested and invited Tetrick to the program multiple times. When asked about the egg board’s probe, Tetrick told Varney, “Incumbents are feeling a little bit threatened by our product.”
A social media recipe for success
After egging you on for about 500 words I want to remind you where I began. I told you Hampton Creek shuns many of the popular ingredients of the usual recipe for success in digital marketing. Their website is modest, to say the least.
From a media point of view, the company butters its bread via social media, especially YouTube.
So they encourage you to bounce on over to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Wikipedia (uh, okay) and YouTube.
Start with YouTube. Their channel is just plain tasty. It’s a lesson in how to do the Tube. They’ve created playlists for you there…
- Just Recipes is the most robust. 158 videos. In fact, their most viewed video shows you in how to prepare Sesame Somen Noodle Stir Fry (time lapse style)
- Creek Culture and The Hampton Creek Story take you behind the scenes
- Hot Off the Press presents featured news clips
If you watch just one YouTube video, watch this: A mom’s surprise in the NY Times. It’ll rip your healthy heart to shreds.
With 228K fans, Hampton Creek has got it going on on Facebook too, though the content is largely YouTube videos. Same for Twitter, where they have 64K followers and Instagram, where they have 32K followers.
W’zup with just?
In the interest of fairness, I need to clear something up.
When the company’s uses its favorite word, just, they don’t mean “only.” Atop their YouTube channel, they set things straight.
Do you have an amazing social media story to share? Leave a comment and tell us more about it.