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The Grillin' Maidens

Finalist in Music & Dance

Entered in Multi-Platform Partnership, Music Video


Bar-S Foods is a value brand that makes hot dogs, sausages, lunchmeat, bacon, and other items, and it is one of the top selling brands in grocery stores - based on volume.

Because of its low price and historic lack of marketing investment, Bar-S struggles to compete with well-loved and well-funded brands such as Oscar Mayer, Johnsonville and Hillshire Farm that sell at higher prices. Additionally, the rise in private label grocery brands impacted their role as a value brand leader – eroding their ability to compete solely on price.

Bar-S was seeing slowly declining sales and brand health until we launched the Iconic Summer Mashup campaign in 2021. The campaign pivoted the brand away from function and price-based marketing, creating a yearly summertime activation that drove an emotional connection leveraging pop culture, nostalgia and music through parody music videos.

In 2023, we still needed to continue to drive sales growth numbers in media markets and increase brand health metrics including: awareness, perception, and consideration.

However, Bar-S wanted to evolve the Iconic Summer Mashup campaign theme to drive further momentum for the brand – building even stronger emotional connections with both core and new customers through targeted digital and social media and finding a way to leverage today’s social media influencers to activate a music-inspired campaign that was fresh and different from the prior two years.


After 2 years of national parody music success with all male artists from the 90’s & 2000’s, we needed the third installment of the Bar-S Iconic Summer Mashup trilogy to drive further momentum for the brand and build an even stronger emotional connection with both core and new consumers. We knew we didn’t need to enlist an industry star of yesterday and that there may be a better way to tap into nostalgia the Bar-S consumers craved. 

First, we dug deep into 80’s Glam Rock lore to write “Bar-S Guy” - an epic parody of Warrant’s Cherry Pie, but we needed a band as epic as the song itself to perform it at levels that would equal the energy and charisma of music videos and performances from that era. So, we turned to today's social media influencers, who were all talented musicians in real life, to build an all-star, all-female, 80’s parody rock band that we named the Grillin’ Maidens.

Why all-female? It was important we parioed gender sterotypes from 80’s glam rock band videos AND appealed to new, younger consumers that were male and female.

We recruited our band from American Idol, Disney, self-taught drummers, and real rock’n’roll stars (Sophie & Moa), and the Grillin’ Maidens all met in person for the first time in Los Angeles to practice, record and film everything from the song in studio to a backyard, grilling party music video with a real stage, groupies and a real, air guitaring & leg kicking music video hero as our Bar-S guy.

During the filming, we worked with the band to record and post pre and post-launch hype videos across Facebook, Instagram and TikTok to promote the future video release. As an unexpected bonus, all of the band members were so excited about the video that they each posted extra promotional content!

We combined ‘80s rock inspiration with juicy Bar-S meats and iconic grilling utensils to design original logos for our song and band. We created a series of paid social and digital media assets to drive awareness of the upcoming video launch. And it wouldn’t be a true ‘80s rock band without posters and merch that we used as giveaways and other influencer seeding kits to get the word out.

These ads accompanied an AdAge exclusive we secured for the campaign launch that focused on the power of music/sound and influencers as a marketing strategy that all helped drop the official music video. 

Each of our five Grillin’ Maidens posted and shared the video across Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube to launch as a part of the launch. The hero video, and several product specific cut downs, ran across CTV, Social and online video for the Summer of 2023. And as a final flourish, we identified 4 major food influencers that used the song and wore the official band “tour” shirts in a 4th of July promotion we titled fireworks and fire recipes to keep the brand and key product messaging front and center.


Let’s just say, we were doing stage dives, leg kicks and windmill air guitars when the campaign ended in September 2023. 

First off, our band crushed it. Between their Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube channels, they earned over 2 million music video views from audiences that likely may have never seen or heard of Bar-S before. And our food fireworks and food influencers added an additional 3 million video views of their rock-inspired recipe videos across Instagram & TikTok.

Our CTV, online video and paid social media delivered over 180 million impressions in our key markets and earned over 11.5 million online engagements. 

Finally, for the encore, Bar-S brand awareness increased +2% pts from pre-campaign to post-campaign in the campaign markets (66% to 68%). The brand also improved several brand attributes including, trust (+3%), and quality(+1%). Bar-S dollar sales increased +1.93% in the campaign markets (+$1,545,984) vs. 2022 while Bar-S Rest-of-Market dollar sales decreased -0.93% vs. 2022 (-$1,768,424).

*Sources: Bar-S Hanover Research brand health tracking study 2023; IRI Multi Outlet Data 2023.

In a time where market and financial pressures were beginning to impact consumers at all levels, we saw that the power of harnessing music and nostalgia with real-life musicians and social media stars is still a recipe for success.


Video for The Grillin' Maidens

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Heart & Soul Marketing, Bar-S Foods


Entry Credits