Small businesses can learn from the ‘Orange is the New Black’ Food Truck promotion


Netflix’s popular and incendiary series Orange is the New Black just released their second season this month, and it seems that orange will stay the choice color for quite some time.

It’s safe to say that OITNB has gathered enough fans and media attention to promote the season, but that’s not stopping Netflix from throwing some marketing money behind it.

Because when OITNB wins, all of Netflix wins.

A while back, we talked about the importance of focusing on one product or service when advertising your brand, and the case can’t be any truer than now. For the time being, Netflix has stepped back from advertising its monthly membership service, and going straight for the gold — promoting its original series instead.

And not only that, it’s promoting the series in a creative way — with a food truck serving free pies that’s set to tour in select cities, starting in NYC.

So what’s a small business to learn from this? Of course, you may not have the same marketing budget as Netflix may have, but there are some business lessons that can be learned here.

  1. Just because you have avid fans, doesn’t mean you stop promoting. Today’s market is saturated with competition, and everyone’s attention spans are getting smaller. Keep your product top of mind with your customers, and attract new ones.
  2. Find new ways to extend your product or service offerings, without losing your core. Netflix started out as a DVD monthly rental service, which then transformed to an online monthly streaming service — and it didn’t stop there. They started to create original content because they needed new and better reasons for people to subscribe to their service. They still have their library of movies and TV series, but now they have original content to keep you around a little longer.
  3. Reward your customers for being customers. Netflix says that the truck will be touring in many cities throughout the month of June, giving away food for free, and announcing the next cities on its tour via their Twitter account. What a great way to strengthen your viewers’ loyalty to the show! While you don’t have to give away free food (though it is pretty awesome), think of ways you can say thanks to your current customers and make them feel special.
  4. Think of abnormal marketing channels to get people talking. It’s unusual for a show to brand a food truck and go around giving people food — but many people and media outlets are talking about it. While the money was spent on the truck, the employees and the food, they gained media exposure and more brand awareness because people noticed how different it was. What can you do in your area that will get people talking? What’s different about how you will advertise that your competitors have yet to do?
  5. Find out what your current buyers like about your product, and use that as your message. If you haven’t watched the show, then you’re missing out on a lot of quotable lines. Fans of major shows love to quote and recite dialogue from the series. One of the more memorable ones from OITNB involved Crazy Eyes’ line “I threw a pie for you.” Of course, you’ll have to see the show to understand why it’s funny, but the line keyed off the promotion, hence the name of the truck “Crazy Pyes.” Nothing better than using an inside joke to tell prospects that they’re missing out on a fun time.

Have you seen any special and different local promotions for another small business? Or have you done anything interesting that the world should know about? Let us know in the comments!

Written by

Rocky is a social media consultant and project coordinator with The Art of Online Marketing. He works as a community marketing manager for Entrepreneur.com. Follow him @rockyvy on Twitter
Posted in: Marketing Services for Small Business, Small Business Marketing Budget