Friday, September 16, 2011

No capice, Barilla

So last night, Adrea Bocelli dropped by my neighborhood, along with his friends Tony Bennett and Celine Dion.

They sang at the behest of Italian food giant Barilla.  Overall, the promotion makes sense.  Barilla wants to become the brand leader in Italian-style foods, so they put on an event celebrating Italian culture.  I don't know how the very Quebecois Ms. Dion got invited.  I suppose Madonna had a face lift scheduled.  Or something.

Overall, the event made sense.  Barilla sampled their products before and during the event.  People got a chance to pretend to live la dolce vita for a bit.  However, one thing just struck me as...odd.

At the event, they gave away a branded tchotchke.  Here it is:

If you can't tell, it's a cloth bag with a velcro closure.  I took a walk in the park this morning and found a few.


I like giveaways as a promotional tactic.  They give the consumer a tangible brand experience.  And they work great as a Translinear tactic, driving the consumer on to an action that drives a business goal.

So, on part the first, what am I supposed to do with this bag?  Notwithstanding my own affection for little bags that close (I have a bunch for power cables, adaptors, USB sticks, etc.), I don't get a link between Italian food and a little drawstring bag.  Do I keep garlic or a cheese grater in it?  Barilla could have given something much more relevant, like a wooden spoon or plastic pasta server.  I am holding out the possibility, however, that Barilla put something useful inside the bag.  Anyone know?

More importantly, why didn't Barilla use the item to drive the consumer somewhere, such as oh, I don't know, their own recipe site?  HUGE missed opportunity, I think.

If you can explain the logic of the bag, please sound off in the comments.

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