Bacon Otaku

3 Jun
2009

(originally posted on http://goodewinejourney.wordpress.com)

bacon I tweeted a couple of times today about Bacon, which always gets a ton of response. As I monitor the Twittersphere, the two        foods that come up most often are bacon and cupcakes. Not only are there a plethora of chatter about the two foods, there are also    multiple #bacon bots that follow you and interact with you as soon as you mention this greasy, yet delicious food. I even received  this  recipe that incorporates not one, but both foods (via user @baconinja) It seems that, especially on Twitter, there is a ton of    conversation about and loyalty to these quirky foods. I am still baffled by whether Twitter users are just more into bacon and    cupcakes than the general population, or if my view is just extremely skewed, due to the specifics of both groups (online and offline) that I participate in.

In any case, as a marketer, I always think about what generates buzz and instills loyalty. Bacon and cupcake aficionados are quite staunch fans, and every time I think of them, I can’t help but think about Seth Godin‘s “Purple Cow.” In this book, Seth talks about Otaku, people who are more or less obsessed with a certain product, hobby or topic. Originally, Otaku (of Japanese origin) referred to Anime aficionados, but it has been somewhat adopted outside of that realm. Godin posits that certain foods, such as hot sauce, inspire Otaku-like behavior, while others don’t.

If someone can tell me why bacon and cupcakes inspire such passion (other than being sinfully delicious), I am all ears. I would also love to hear from marketers some success stories on how they built a passionate community around a fairly mundane product or brand.

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 P.S. I feel that wine, especially wine tasting, also inspires loyalty and a lot of passion. Other than the obvious lifestyle benefits of being a  “social lubricant” and enhancing coversations at the dinner table (especially with a really good bottle), people who are good at tasting  wines seem to belong to a close-knit group that is rich in its own traditions and even vocabulary. Wine tasting is an art, and the people  who are good at it, have committed time and resources to learning how to be good at it, and I think that’s where the passion comes from.    For the rest of us, while the fine art of wine tasting is aspirational, enjoying wine is open to all.

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  • http://www.100musicalfootsteps.ggwbach.com/ ggw_bach

    bacon + cupcakes … yumm :-)

    and you’re right about Otaku … ppl are passionate. Needs no goading or encouragement … ppl pursue it all on their own. The great secret the marketing … to tap into these inbuilt interest.

  • TheMaria

    Absolutely! That is very much the key: to play in a product category / talk to consumers who are passionate. Twitter is very much all about that, at least the lead users. I think that explains why, now that it’s gone more mainstream, these users are less passionate and abandon the service quicker.

  • Pingback: Twitter and Otaku « theMaria’s M.O.()

  • http://www.metropoliscreative.com/blog.php Michael Flint

    I made some bacon cupcakes last month. They were really good. Recipe is here: http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com/2008/04/dark-chocolate-bacon-cupcakes.html

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