Who Put the Fun Back in Funyuns?

12:04 November 09, 2016
By: Shane Finkelstein

A week before Voodoo Festival, I was sent an offer of a Free VIP pass by a marketing firm representing Funyuns. What was the catch? Funyuns breath.

Lucky for me, Funyuns is my go-to snack on road trips, and I happily accepted the offer. While Funyuns may seem like an unusual match for a music festival, the snack food has developed a serious cult following. Throwing themselves into the festival game was a unique opportunity to introduce themselves to concertgoers that might not have been familiar with the brand.

Tucked amongst the trees of City Park were a half dozen corporate sponsor tents, usually filled with curious teenagers. In the Funyuns tent, you could take a picture in the Exhale-O-Rometer, which showed their self-deprecating sense of humor, or grab a bag of free Funyuns- in three flavors: Onion, Steakhouse Onion and Flaming Hot. Throughout the festival, the tent also featured autograph sessions with some of the top-tier talent, including Oh Wonder and Shaky Graves.

When talking with the brand manager, he stressed the authenticity of their marketing; the importance of “keeping it real.” Festival-goers don’t need to be force-fed a brand, so instead, Funyuns gave free VIP tickets to a group of popular bloggers in the hopes of a mention or two. But really, the main goal was to get those little yellow bags into the hands of as many young people as they could, knowing that if you gain a fan early, you gain one for life.

While Voodoo was a huge success this year with glorious weather and record-breaking crowds, the real winners may have been the sponsors and vendors who helped pay for the festival, rain or shine. Hopefully, those music fans will return home with great memories and Funyuns-breath so the next time they need a snack for the tailgate or dorm party, they’ll think of those little onion rings. 

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