Sunday, 23 August, 2009 12:50 PM
Craig Morgan and Bush's Grillin'
Beans: A Recipe for Success
courtesy of Bush's Baked Beans
Baked Beans spokesman Jay Bush and Craig Morgan during a video
shoot for Grill U.
2009 CMA Close Up News Service
There were plenty of
reasons why it made sense that Craig Morgan and Bush's Baked Beans
could form an ideal partnership of artist and product, each enhancing
and benefiting from what the other had to offer. But for Morgan
himself, none of it mattered if not for one essential truth.
"I love to grill,"
he said. "I could probably try to sell something I'm not that
into, but when I'm looking at potential sponsors or endorsements
I try to affiliate myself with products I would use. I ride Kawasaki
motorcycles. When I'm on a tractor, it's my Case IH. I'm loyal to
And he is loyal to the
pleasures of the grill, to the point of packing one onto his bus
and using it to whip up aromatic meals for his band and crew during
That got the attention
of Scott Daniel, who as Senior Brand Manager at Bush's Baked Beans
was in the midst of searching for a spokesperson for the company's
upcoming Grillin' Beans campaign. Research confirmed that a Country
artist would be the best fit for their customer base.
"But it was also
important that we have someone who is truly passionate about grilling,"
Daniel said. "It took just a couple of minutes of speaking
with Craig to know that he's a guy our consumers can relate to."
By February, Morgan,
company spokesman Jay Bush, great-grandson of the company's founder
Condon Bush, and Jay's dog Duke were filming vignettes for GrillU.com,
which now includes a space reserved for Morgan where visitors could
go behind the scenes during the video shoots, check out his favorite
recipes and download "Love Remembers," from his latest
BNA Records album, That's Why. More Morgan items - albums, T-shirts
and hats - were among the prizes offered in a game and sweepstakes
hosted at the Web site.
Morgan took his message
to the media too, beginning with "Fox & Friends" in
April and "The Bonnie Hunt Show" in May, as well as via
TV commercials and print ads. This represented an immediate return
on the Bush's arrangement, according to his manager, Faith Quesenberry
of Vector Management. "We'd hit a lot of media when Craig's
album dropped in October," she said. "But by having an
angle that's not necessarily his music, he could hit all these shows
with his grilling expertise."
As Morgan sees it, the
payoff can go further than that. "Someone might win my CD in
that sweepstakes, take it home, listen to it and go, 'Wow, I really
like this!' That not only benefits me, it benefits the entire Country
industry. It really is a win/win for everybody."
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