White Castle hypes Chicken Rings with Facebook Live home shopping show

June 13, 2019

Dive Brief:

  • Burger chain White Castle ran a 42-minute Facebook Live segment resembling a home shopping show to promote its Chicken Rings, according to news provided to Marketing Dive. The show aired on June 27 and was directed by Carrie Stett and produced by Washington Square Films.
  • The programming starred bubbly hosts Janelle and Heather, who hyped up the brand's new Chicken Rings. The segment featured a fashion show with models showing off different ways to wear the rings, live callers, personal testimonies and a live marriage proposal.
  • The hosts leveraged the real-time interaction with Facebook users by responding to viewers' comments and asking them to share their opinions about various details in the show, including a ring dish and a pair of "artisan-crafted" Chicken Rings earrings.

Dive Insight:

White Castle's home-shopping parody underpins how brands can leverage live streaming to interact with viewers in real time and stoke excitement for product launches. The hosts of the QVC-esque segment ad-libbed during the broadcast, encouraged viewers to comment and responded to their posts, which might've helped to drive engagement and create a feeling of off-the-cuff authenticity. Peanut butter brand Jif ran a similar promtion earlier this week with the actor Neil Patrick Harris, who hosted a Facebook Live comedy show that re-enacted parenting stories crowd-sourced from users and touted the marketer's new Jif Power Ups snacks. Since 2017, live broadcasts from verified Facebook Pages have grown 50%, according to Engadget. Facebook Live initially struggled to gain favor with marketers and publishers, who expressed disappointment over its viewership and engagement metrics and worry over several incidents of extreme, violent and offensive content. However, that might be changing following Facebook's adjusting of its algorithm at the beginning of this year to reward posts and videos that generate "meaningful interactions" rather than passive consumption. Facebook videos have continued to outperform other types of content by a "statistically significant margin" since the changes went into effect, according to research from the social media agency Likeable. Facebook has also recently added new tools to help video creators make their Facebook Live videos more interactive, including polling and gamification features.

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