The Big Cheese

July 23rd, 2007

Every once in a while you come across something on the Web so simplistically genius that you’re not quite sure how to react. Recently, this came to me in the form of (Thanks to a colleague for passing around this gem).

My hat goes off to the masterminds of this public relations tactic. The West Country Farmhouse Cheesemakers in the UK have taken something as innately boring as aging cheese and turned it into an unexpected gimmick that has generated nearly 1.5 million visitors to their website – in just seven months.

So, what is Cheddar Vision? It is a live video capture of the months-long process of aging cheese. That’s just it: nothing happens. The cheese doesn’t move. It doesn’t talk. It doesn’t interact with the audience. But Cheddar Vision successfully plays off of a key element of gourmet cheese that buyers often overlook: it must age at least 10 months before it’s ready to eat. This is the sign of authentic farmhouse cheese – West Country Farmhouse cheese.

By emphasizing the long, deliberate process of cheese production and aging, West Country Farmhouse adds value to their cheese – and visually captures their time-consuming dedication to making premium, award-winning cheese. Better still, it’s viral. You may not find yourself glued to the computer screen for hours on end staring at Cheddar Vision, but you’re more likely than not to forward it on to colleagues and friends for a good laugh.

To revisit an acronym we use here, Cheddar Vision is a SURE public relations tactic – Simple, Unique, Relevant, and Easy to Cover. Well, relevant might be stretching it a bit.  But then again, if you’re a cheese manufacturer…

Posted Under: Public Relations, Viral & Guerilla Marketing
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