What do "Titanic," "Game of Thrones," and "Mary Poppins" all have in common? Each has served as the inspiration for Culver’s Community Theater, the fast-casual chain’s Instagram video campaign that’s reached more than 400,000 social media users.
“The 15-second videos are an Instagram first in approach—strategy, content, and video length were geared directly to the Instagram platform,” says Paul Pitas, director of PR and communications at Culver’s. “The videos are also highlighted on our Facebook, Twitter, on YouTube, and e-newsletter.”
Totaling nine, the Instagram videos poke fun at TV, film, and theater classics. “The Wizard of Cod” is a take on the 1939 commercial success in which the band’s menu items “follow the crinkle-cut road,” as the redone tune goes. In “Top Bun,” a Culver’s Cheddar BetterBurger with Bacon shows off its aviation skills, flying upside down above a Culver’s Mushroom & Swiss.
“An increasing amount of our guest is checking us out via mobile technology, and even though the videos were targeted to the younger audience, I think they each also feature some cinematic themes that are timeless,” Pitas says.
Though the Community Theater campaign was the first of its kind for the brand, new to Instagram, it was important for its marketing executives to cross promote, Pitas adds. The videos were posted to Culver’s YouTube page, with several garnering more than 300 views. They were also promoted across Facebook and Twitter and sent to fans via the company’s e-newsletter.
“Instagram enhances our presence in some of the traditional social media channels like Facebook and Twitter, People don’t have just Facebook or just Instagram—they’re active on all of these channels,” Pitas says. “This is why we decided to create them just for Instagram but share them across all channels.”
With Culver’s celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, brand executives have sought ways to put its message of quality and service in front of a more diverse group of diners. Social media will continue to play a key role in achieving that goal, Pitas says.
“We know that our guests are moving into different communications modes we have to be a player in,” he says. “It’s a matter of communicating the same messages but through different tools.”