Schneiders throws a big league surprise

Check out the hot dog brand's winning experiential play through its Toronto Blue Jays partnership.

Maple Leaf hot dog brand Schneiders recently surprised some little league baseball players to drive home its connection with a quintessential summer moment – playing ball at the park.

Working with TraffikGroup, it leveraged its partnership with the Toronto Blue Jays to turn what the eight and nine-year-olds expected would be a regular weeknight game between two Toronto area teams into a MLB-like event, complete with stands packed full of spectators (some of whom were Maple Leaf employees who were bused in for the game), a play-by-play commentator and Blue Jays mascot Ace. Five video cameras were on hand for filming on July 7 at Neilson Park in Scarborough, Ont. to capture the action and produce a polished video that captures the surprised reactions of the young players on Scarborough Stingers and North York Blues.

It was the latest activation in the brand’s “Grab a Taste of the Big Leagues” platform launched this season, which strives to associate the brand – the category leader in the smoked sausages and wieners categories – with the summer game and drive sales of Blue Jays-sponsored products – Grill’Ems sausages and Juicy Jumbos.

“This really stood out as an opportunity to do something unique,” says Barry Alexander, senior marketing manager, Schneiders master brand, sausages category. “It gave us an opportunity to have a one-on-one experience with consumers, then take that experience and allow a broader group of people to experience that.”

Cam Boyd, co-ECD at TraffikGroup, adds the content was aimed at moms, the primary shopper for the brand at retail, who would be able to connect with the idea of taking their kid to their own game.

The video, which has been viewed more than one million times since it went live on Tuesday, aired before games on the Rogers Centre’s video screen all of last week, and the two teams got to stand on the field during the national anthems on Sunday, which was Canada Baseball Day. The brand handled the media buy and worked with Traffik to drive viewers to the video through female bloggers and paid media on its social sites. The video also lived on Bluejays.com.

The “Grab a Taste of the Big Leagues” platform is also supported by a season-long community management program led by Traffik and Maple Leaf’s internal team, and the Blue Jays-sponsored products are being prioritized in store, Alexander says.

While Alexander couldn’t share performance numbers through the partnership, he says the company is very pleased with the year-over-year performance of the two sub-brands featured in the Blue Jays activation.