Philadelphia-based premium meats and cheese manufacturer Dietz & Watson has launched a new product posed to be consumers’ new go-to game day snack, Dietz Nuts. Originally concepted as a Super Bowl stunt and a play on the brand’s name, the company worked closely with its agency of record, full-service creative agency Red Tettemer O’Connell + Partners (RTO+P) to actually bring the product to shelves after realizing there was whitespace in the market.
Dietz Nuts marks the first-ever “meat nut” snack for Dietz & Watson and the world. Dietz Nuts are protein-packed, savory sausage bites. The recipe is based on their traditional European landjaeger, dried and cured to snackable perfection. The phrase “Deez Nuts” originally broke into pop culture on Dr. Dre’s 1992 album, The Chronic. Since then, it has become one of the most used memes on the internet. Most recently, “Deez Nuts” ran as an Independent candidate in the 2016 presidential election and polled as high as almost 10% in North Carolina.
A long-time meats and cheeses purveyor and family-run brand, Dietz & Watson realized they had a unique opportunity to break new ground in its category and create one of America’s new favorite game-day snacks when the idea was first presented to them. “We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to tap into this pop culture phenomenon,” said Lauren Eni, VP of Brand Strategy at Dietz & Watson. “As soon as RTO+P came to us with the concept, we knew we had to run with it. What’s resulted – the launch of a “first ever” product, the expansion of our brand portfolio and culturally-inspired campaign – marks a very exciting moment for our 80-year old brand.”
Tell us about your role in the creation of this work.
RTO+P is AOR for Dietz & Watson and created the work as part of an overall campaign to move the brand from a commodity to one that’s connected and relevant to people’s lives.
Give us an overview of the campaign, what is it about?
The phrase “Deez Nuts” is an enduring pop-culture phenomenon that just happens to sound like the brand’s first name, Dietz. We went to the Dietz & Watson brand team with the idea of doing a Super Bowl stunt around a novelty item called Dietz Nuts. The Dietz team said they could go beyond making them as a novelty and had the ability to roll them out as a new product. Once we all started thinking about it as a new product launch rather than a stunt, it became much more compelling.
How is this Super Bowl brief different from the usual brief?
A Super Bowl brief for a creative solution outside of running a spot in the game is always about what can we do to make enough noise to punch through the crazy din around the biggest media event of the year. But once the idea shifted from creating a stunt around the game to launching a product that’s perfect for the game, everything sort of fell into place.
Can you share your favorite behind-the-scenes moment with us?
Having Craig Robinson on the set with a product named Dietz Nuts is pretty much one continuous BTS bonanza. So we made a video for social out of the best bits:
What was the greatest challenge that you and your team faced during development?
Given that it’s an actual product launch, the logistics of getting the campaign together were a bit more complicated. We had to time our efforts to coordinate with manufacturing, packaging and distribution channels.
What did you enjoy most about seeing this campaign through? Did you learn anything new from the experience?
As is the case with any work this bold, it takes a courageous client to buy the idea and work together to make it come to life. So, we’d say what we most enjoyed was working alongside our friends at Dietz & Watson.
What is your favorite Super Bowl ad of all time?
We won’t say Apple’s “1984” because…it’s Apple’s “1984”. So we’ll say Budweiser’s “Brotherhood”. We choke up every time we watch.