Prime and Beast with a Feast!
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This might be clickbait from our end, but there exists a person who can make this happen, and if you do not know that man, then you must be neighbours with Patrick Star under that rock of yours!
Yes, I am talking about the real-life genius, billionaire and philanthropist. No! Not Elon Musk; it's actually MrBeast, the biggest YouTuber in the world and also the official heir of Twitter or X (whichever sounds better), according to the man himself! Now, ride a chocolate bar and fly to the other side of the globe, from the US to the UK, and picture two enemies who ironically became friends after fighting each other to death in a boxing ring. This time the protagonists are Logan Paul, a charismatic and often controversial YouTuber known for his larger-than-life persona and KSI, a gamer turned musician turned boxer and now a businessman! Let's take a deep dive into what these three musketeers have done besides just making YouTube content and casually earning millions.
Beast of a Burger
In a generation with an already saturated culinary space and arches of fast food giants, what made the MrBeast Burger stand out? Why was this launch buzzworthy, boggling thousands of minds? Let us dive right in!
It is inevitable to say that the YouTube community is incomplete without mentioning MrBeast A.K.A. Jimmy Donaldson is known for his over-the-top stunts and charitable endeavours. In December 2020, like a surprise twist in a gourmet tale, the culinary space was served by the genius idea of the YouTube sensation when he decided to launch 300 virtual kitchens, dubbed MrBeast Burger and gave away food and cash to what seemed like thousands of people as part of the marketing. He also uploaded a corresponding video titled, "I Opened A Restaurant That Pays You To Eat At It” which has over 168 million views as of now! When MrBeast Burger hit the scene, it wasn't just a burger; it was a phenomenon! Orders poured in faster than you can say "extra cheese," causing a digital traffic jam. Yes, it topped the chart. But that's not all. It became so popular that, at its peak, its application rocketed to the top of the app store charts, getting more daily downloads than YouTube itself. But was this buzz just dumb luck? According to an interview with Bloomberg, Donaldson and his friends spent months researching and analysing what makes a video go viral and then integrating what they learned into their channel. Donaldson himself studied other YouTube videos and filmmaking, and he seemed to be a fairly good student! He used his massive YouTube following to announce the launch, creating a frenzy of excitement. But the real secret sauce? MrBeast didn't rely solely on his star power. He invited a league of social media influencers and harnessed the passion of his fans, proving it to be a marketing masterstroke.
MrBeast Burger carved its unique identity in the fast-food world by serving up more than just delicious burgers. The brand flipped the script on the entire dining experience. Unlike the conventional dine-in spots, MrBeast Burger had joined hands with Virtual Dining Concepts to prepare delivery-only meals wherein customers ordered exclusively through delivery apps like Uber Eats and DoorDash, making it an app-etizing experience.
By embracing a low-overhead model and serving up quality and affordability, the brand ruled the consumers’ hearts, while other traditional fast-food giants like McDonald's, Burger King, and Wendy's had to up their digital game to stay competitive in an increasingly digital market under financial pressure. In the competitive fast-food landscape, MrBeast Burger was indeed a replica of the words of a marketing professor, Jonah Berger: “Virality isn’t born, it’s made.”
Feast of the Primus
In an industry where sweetness reigns supreme, Hershey's had a very bitter opponent when MrBeast began smelting their brown bars, which we know today as “Feastables”. The marketing geniuses Logan Paul and KSI also came up with a toxic approach to disrupting an industry that is an elixir of athletic gods, and this time their adulteration is against another giant we know as Gatorade, and their poison is something we know as “Prime”. Both Prime and Feastables have very similar strategies because of a common link: the hunger of self-made millionaires to be billionaires!
Let us look at their sweet yet fizzy strategy to reach where they are today, i.e., $250 million in sales by Prime alone. Firstly, both companies chose their respective idols in their industries, which were Hershey's in the Feastables case and Gatorade in Prime's, and respectfully made them villains in the eyes of their loyal fan following.
Then the different use of scarcity by both brands helped them in their marketing. While MrBeast used it to give his brand an initial push by giving consumers a chance to win a “Mystery Ticket," only 10 of these tickets existed, and each represented the opportunity to be featured in a MrBeast video remaking Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory in real life. Here the scarcity is in the number of tickets, and more chocolate means more probability of meeting their favourite content creator and getting featured in his video. Apart from that, $1 million in prizes were also given to the consumers, which gave him the initial push to make $10 million in the first 72 hours of the launch. On the other side of the world, we had Logan Paul and KSI creating demand by limiting the supply of their brand using the modern-day loss aversion known as FOMO to give their product an energy boost like no other, maybe better than the one Prime could give you using the 200 mg of caffeine available in it!
The last thing common between the two was that they used their experience and understanding of content creation to full effect and marketed their products like a pro, and this superpower of a built-in content engine is poised to deliver a knockout punch in the near future.
Ventures like Prime by Logan Paul, KSI, and Feastables, along with MrBeast Burger by MrBeast, have set out on a transformative journey in the food industry, fundamentally disrupting the conventional workings of big brands.
As pointed out, these enterprises have adopted a digital-first strategy, leveraging their online presence and social media influence to reach a vast and diverse audience. Their menus, often inspired by their creators' personalities, introduce innovation and creativity, prompting big brands to reconsider their offerings. Additionally, their commitment to philanthropy, as exemplified by MrBeast Burger, has not only garnered positive attention but also placed a spotlight on social responsibility within the industry. By prioritizing online ordering and delivery, these ventures have redefined convenience and service expectations, compelling established brands to enhance their digital presence and delivery capabilities. Furthermore, their strong fan engagement and loyalty-building efforts have revolutionized the brand-consumer relationship. As these disruptive ventures continue to pave the way forward, the food industry's landscape is in a state of transformation, compelling big brands to adapt and innovate to stay competitive in this evolving marketplace.
Authors: Hardik Jain and Priyanshi Malpani
Illustration: Prateek Verma