Bakers Journal

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Editorial: Standing Apart From the Crowd


March 4, 2008
By Jane Ayer

In October, just, before IBIE was set to kick off in Orlando, I
received an e-mail from Kemper Bakery Systems about the Crustica, a new
artisan bread line they were launching at the show.

In October, just, before IBIE was set to kick off in Orlando, I received an e-mail from Kemper Bakery Systems about the Crustica, a new artisan bread line they were launching at the show. I can’t quite remember the exact content of the e-mail, but it sent me to You Tube, to a web video that was more like a short film or a movie trailer than the at-home quality of much of the content on the website. Quick edits, dramatic music, wide screen shots (complete with the requisite black bars at the top and the bottom), it piqued my curiosity. I’m not saying it’s Academy Award material, but it intrigued me, mostly as a unique marketing idea that held my attention longer than most of the stuff that comes my way. It, obviously, stood out, or I wouldn’t be talking about it today. And finding some way to make your business stand out, especially with the spate of marketing messages, billboards, pop-up ads, and guerrilla marketing we get thrown at us every day, is what it’s all about.

While I was on You Tube, reviewing the Crustica “short“ for the purposes of this column, I decided to find out what other bakery-related videos might be worth watching. There were a lot of duds (as much as I enjoy baking and enjoy watching others knead dough and work their magic, the lengthy video of what appeared to be a full day’s shift for one baker was a little dry), but there were also a lot of really unusual and interesting videos. I was fascinated by the one of a bakery in Thailand that has become known for making body parts out of bread. Yep, you read that right. Body parts. Disembodied hands hanging from the display case, faces with eyes closed, it really looked like some kind of gruesome museum. Not to say it wasn’t a little creepy (and a little strange), but at the same time, these dough creations were so real and lifelike, I couldn’t stop watching. And yet it seems to work for this bakery, which has garnered much attention for its unusual products. Then there’s the commercial for the 2007 New Zealand Bakery of the Year Contest. It features a Maori gingerbread man doing the haka, which is a war chant and challenge. Hilarious and cute, they look so fierce and yet so silly at the same time. It surely brought some good attention to the baking industry in that country when it first aired and continues to do so online. The last video that caught my attention before I cut myself off (be forewarned, You Tube can be addictive) was one posted by car manufacturer Skoda, which filmed the making of an entire, life-sized car (a Fabia) made out of cake. Fascinating, tasty, and apparently doable (with lots of time and patience).

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Go online. See what others are doing. Look for ways you can make your business stand out from the masses. Get connected. Already doing something unusual to grab the attention of your customers and garner online buzz? We’d love to hear about it.

Meanwhile, we’re doing our own thing to stand out online. We’ve completely revamped our website. A visit will give you a chance to have your say about industry issues in our blog, will let you register your vote in our weekly poll and will give you access to daily news from the industry and exclusive web features found only on Bakersjournal.com. The new site is for you and about you. Please use it and please let us know if we’re missing something. We’re excited about the new site and we think you will be too.


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