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Enter the 14th Annual Shorty Awards

The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. See categories below. The early entry deadline is on December 9th, 2021.

From the 11th Annual Shorty Awards

BBQuest

Entered in Branded Series

About this entry

Texas Beef Council is tasked with finding a place on consumers' plates for beef through promotion, research and education. Beef Loving Texans, the consumer-facing brand of the Texas Beef Council, was created to increase visibility of beef, support the beef industry in Texas and represent the state's 140,000 beef farmers and ranchers. To reach today's Texan, Beef Loving Texans needed to connect with their passions and reflect their daily lives, and find the perfect place where beef bridges yesterday's traditions, today's culture and the state's eternal pride. This spot is Texas barbecue.

To do this, Beef Loving Texans focused on three insights and one qualification:

First, Texas barbecue is having a serious (and lasting) moment. Texas-style barbecue joints have been springing up across the country, and even around the world, in record numbers. Welcome to the golden age of barbecue!

Second, primary research told us that barbecue was one of Texans' favorite cuisines, and Texas barbecue is primarily beef. Plus, barbecue is easily accessible for Texans in all cities, within all budgets.

Third, Beef Loving Texans had a successful track record creating short-form content, but brand storytelling has evolved. It was time to try something much bigger.

Finally, today's Texans are fond of their state's reputation, but as Beef Loving Texans focus groups showed, leaning into that reputation is a risky strategy. When brands tap into "Texan-ness," they demand authenticity, with great rewards for those who get it right, and great downside for those who don't.

Why does this entry deserve to win?

Beef Loving Texans decided to create a food and travel documentary-style series which connects viewers to the traditions of Texas barbecue, introduces them to the people who prepare and serve it, and shows them the places which inspire the flavors they love. By uniting the audience with the pitmasters, flavors and places behind Texas' barbecue, the BBQuest series reminds viewers of what they are saying when they choose to eat barbecue: they're part of a time-honored, yet innovative, food culture which is uniquely tied to the story of Texas.

BBQuest consists of four 20 to 25-minute episodes that take place in different metro areas. Our host, Kelsey Pribylski, is a native Texan in search of secret menu items. In each episode, Kelsey is joined by a different culinary expert (with five James Beard award nominations and one "Best Chef: Southwest" award between them) to visit three unique barbecue joints and two local attractions. Kelsey's travels take her from Austin's hip vibrant atmosphere, to Houston's melting pot of cuisine and cultures, and from San Antonio's Latin American roots, to Dallas-Fort Worth's dual personality. The restaurants and attractions were chosen with the help of the local guides, to ensure the episode would truly reflect the community it featured. At each restaurant, she and her guide sit down with a world-class pitmaster to try their soon-to-be signature secret menu item.

The Apron Food PR team researched and scripted each episode with Beef Loving Texans. In partnership with Matchstick Media, each BBQuest episode was filmed over two days in the given metro area. We produced a 30-second teaser for the series, and 30-second trailers for each episode. Over the course of three months, we promoted the series teaser, trailers, episodes and accompanying recipes through programmatic content distribution and organically on social media. Organic and paid promotional efforts drove users to BeefLovingTexans.com/BBQuest, where visitors could find additional video and recipe content, as well as interactive maps that laid out each episodes locations.

Results

BBQuest far surpassed any previous content marketing effort from Beef Loving Texas.

BBQuest season one by the numbers:

-More than six years and three months of total viewing time

-ROI of up to $15.83 for every dollar spent on production

-1,144,230 views

-225,955 social media engagements

-97 percent positive or neutral social media sentiment

-Nine earned media stories

-Over 10,700,000 earned media impressions

-Average view length: 9 minutes and 26 seconds

-Episode completion rate: 30 percent

-New YouTube followers: 1,147 in three months (vs. 1,700 in the previous 11 months)

-Calls to TBC offices, asking about the next episode

Finally, and most importantly to the team, BBQuest has been picked up by Hulu to stream nationwide, starting Spring 2019.

In one season, BBQuest has become a beloved series, with audiences eagerly awaiting Season 2. Despite coming from a brand rather than a media company, BBQuest conforms to the best staples of food and travel shows, and audiences responded. BBQuest takes the medium of barbecue and expands it, examines it closely, digs into the stories and the people who make it, looks at the traditions and the innovations of barbecue, and through barbecue, shows what it means to be a Texan and eat like a Texan. Texans are their traditions, but they're also innovative, inclusive and diverse, just like their barbecue.

Media

Video for BBQuest

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Apron Food PR, Beef Loving Texans

Link

Entry Credits