Digital & Social Media

Paying for a Meal Can Be a Snap

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What Happened: Birds Eye is demonstrating that a picture is worth more than 1,000 words—it can actually buy you a two-course meal in London’s trendy Soho neighborhood. The frozen veggie giant created a pop-up restaurant and let diners pay for their repast by taking a photo of it and sharing it on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

The menu, of course, was a choice of one of the company’s just-launched Inspirations entrees—including several variations on chicken or fish meals. The diner also needed to add with the post #BirdsEyeInspirations to qualify for the freebie. Similar restaurants would be popping up in Manchester and Leeds in June.

Adding to the allure of a free meal, the company also provided some expert tutorials from Marie Marte, a “food-orgrapher” or “foodstagrammer” herself, on just how to get the right angle on those green beans for your Instagram photos.

What This Means for Brands: Birds Eye wasn’t the first to do this. Kellogg’s Special K tried something similar in Stockholm grocery stores last year, and in 2012 a New York restaurant, Comodo, introduced an “Instagram menu” that allowed customers to snap for their dinner, according to Mashable.

But it is a good example of how looking at the data can take a brand in new directions when it comes to product launches and other events. People like to take photos of the meals they are about to consume—52 percent have said they regularly do just that with 11 percent admitting to taking food shots every week. London’s Daily Mail reported that there are currently 90 million photos on Instagram now using the hashtag ‘Food.’ Birds Eye took note of that, and transformed a ho-hum launch into something picture-worthy.

Contributing to TRENDING items are Amanda Ayotte, Ephraim Cohen, Lisa Helfer, Jeff Maldonado, Lauren Price and Abby Ray.