Manischewitz Looks to Thanksgivukah for Market Expansion

Today, Thanksgivukah. Tomorrow, Fourth of July… and maybe even Easter.

Manischewitz is using the confluence of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah to remind consumers that no holiday is off the table for its Kosher products, especially its healthy chicken broth.

Manischewitz is plugging Thanksgivukah as a time to double down on good eating with a campaign that combines contests, a microsite and social media.

“We’re a family-oriented brand that’s been around for about 125 years. We’re looking at it as a family-focused brand for food-focused, family-centric holidays,” says Avital Pessar, assistant brand manager at The Manischewitz Company.

While the company’s products are well-established in the Kosher aisle of consumers’ minds, Pessar points out that chicken broth is a mainstay in cooking throughout the year, and that its chicken broth is all-natural and MSG-free. As such, it has potential to cross over and become a mainstream, year-round product.

The Thanksgivukah campaign was created by UMarketing, which began planning for the unusual convergence of the two holidays more than a year ago, at the behest of Manischewitz. UMarketing created and managed a microsite that includes recipes, e-cards, a Twitter feed and a video that was crowdsourced by Tongal, a site that specializes in hosting contests for videos and scripts.

“One of the challenges for Manischewitz is for people to realize this is good-quality food that should not just be thought of as a specialty item,” says Chris Wiedemann, chief marketing officer for UMarketing. When planning the elements of the campaign, including video, he says, “There were time and budget considerations, and we thought [Tongal] would be fun. We weren’t looking to create a slick commercial, but rather, something to hopefully go viral.”

Manischewitz has become socially focused in the past couple of years, according to Pessar, with most of its efforts put toward Facebook and Twitter. This campaign put the company over the top for an important milestone of 100,000 likes on Facebook. “Hashtags have been an important strategy for us,” says Pessar, who handles a lot of the social media interactions herself, with UMarketing pitching in for this campaign.

There was also a public relations aspect; the company reached out to a few key bloggers, including The Shiksa in the Kitchen and Mommy Shorts. Jamie Geller of Joy of Kosher created special recipes for the site.  

The campaign includes paid search and programmatic display ads. When UMarketing did the original planning for the paid search element of the campaign, it focused on keywords around the holidays and recipes. But the Thanksgivukah meme has legs. There’s a @ThankisgivukahLA Twitter feed promoting an eponymous festival in Los Angeles, and both #Thanksgivukah and #Thanksgivukkah are active on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

“We’ve become part of this bigger movement; I think that’s what anyone who launches a social media campaign looks for,” says Wiedemann.

On Black Friday, the campaign will go into a new phase: Eight Days of Leftovers. Let the mash-ups continue.

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