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Home / Reclame / Fast-Growing Nothing Bundt Cakes Steps Up its Game & Adapts Ongoing Activation Tactics to Address New Branding Goal

Fast-Growing Nothing Bundt Cakes Steps Up its Game & Adapts Ongoing Activation Tactics to Address New Branding Goal

This month, rapidly expanding bakery gift chain Nothing Bundt Cakes (260 bakeries in 36 states, largely Nevada-to-Texas-to-Georgia, and adding about 30 – 40 more per year) breaks its largest-ever campaign. Titled “Joy Giver,” the campaign adapts familiar social activiation media and tactics (a paid Facebook contest) to yield a brand-building end result. It is the first brand-building work by advertising agency 3Headed Monster, Dallas, for their ongoing client (previously promotional and activational only).

Communities were asked, via paid Facebook video, who is your greatest “joy giver”? Over 1100 different people were nominated by their friends and co-workers for the chance to have Nothing Bundt Cakes host them an elaborate surprise party. This was the “activation” stage of the campaign. Realtor Holly Tomlin and church choir leader Sharon McGrill, in Tampa and Dallas respectively, were selected, and their parties were filmed.

The (unstated) branding message is that “Cakes are communal joy.” Two 2-minute documentary-style videos, one of each party, are touching (and show some pretty-looking cakes).

Holly, Joy Giver Full Story

Sharon, Joy Giver Full Story

The documentaries will run on paid Facebook, capitalizing on the activation stage viewership, and augmented by additional media targeting women 25 – 55, especially “thoughtful gift-givers,” via Ansira, Dallas. There will also be :30 “teaser” cutdowns of each long video, also on paid Facebook.

Holly, Joy Giver Short Story

Sharon, Joy Giver Short Story

Strategically, 3Headed Monster notes that social activation has been key to Nothing Bundt Cakes’ growth, and that brand-building, which typically requires TV-type media reach, has been beyond their means. The point of this campaign was to accomplish both.

Nothing Bundt Cakes, Addison, Tex., privately held, privately held, offers decorative cakes, also available online, and, in-store only, gifts such as greeting cards, candles, utensils and serving platters.

3Headed Monster, in Dallas, is a full service, integrated advertising agency with other clients including Travelocity, Soraa (lighting), Fetch MD (app) and The Gents’ Place (men’s grooming chain).

Social Activation / Brand Advertising Fact Sheet

Nothing Bundt Cakes, Addison, Tex., privately held
260 bakeries in 36 states (largely Nevada-to-Texas-to-Georgia so far), and adding about 30 – 40 more per year.

3Headed Monster, Dallas 3headedmonster.com

“Joy Giver” www.nothingbundtcakes.com/bringthejoy
Nothing Bundt Cakes sought out the country’s two greatest “joy givers” and gave each an elaborate surprise party.
3Headed Monster’s first brand advertising for the client, and client’s first such ever (previously promotional efforts only).
Also Nothing Bundt Cakes’ largest-ever campaign of any kind.

Women 25 – 55, especially “thoughtful gift-givers”

Branding message:
Cakes are communal joy.

“Activation” groundwork:
Communities were asked for nominations, via paid Facebook video.
1100 different “joy givers” were entered.

“Branding” culmination:
Two 2-minute documentary-style videos, “Holly” and “Sharon,” plus :30 cutdowns of each.
Surprise parties held for realtor Holly Tomlin and church choir leader Sharon McGrill, in Tampa and Dallas respectively, are touching. Cakes are served.

Paid Facebook

Media agency:
Ansira, Dallas

Social activation has been key to NBC’s growth.
Brand-building, typically via TV, has been beyond their means.
Campaign accomplishes both.

ECD: Shon Rathbone
AD/Designer: Lindsey Weeden
CW: Mallory Massa
Agency Producer: Erik Gullstrand
Account Dir.: Chandra Brabson
Account Exec.: Alyssa Simmons
Strategy Dir.: Crystal Anderson

Prod. Co./Post: Malone Pictures, Dallas
Director/Editor: Justin Malone
D.P.: Vincent Monsaint
Color: Matt McClain
Producer/Engineer: Ryder Ansell


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DQ Provides Happy Experiences for Families via Subscription Box Campaign

As the school year comes to a close and millennial families gear up for summer, DQ launched a first-of-its-kind subscription box filled with experiences aimed at IRL family moments. Even the box itself is designed to be part of the fun.

The DQ Box of Happy was rolled out this June and was offered as a limited three-month subscription box service with a different summer-themed activity each month. Starting with “Camp-In”, the box transforms into a non-flammable, family-room-safe campfire that is illuminated by a flame video via smartphone, using tech to heighten the experience instead of competing with it. The box also includes a shadow puppet storybook, flashlight, playing cards, and a “forest floor blanket” where the camp-in can take place. July’s “Water Park” box includes a built-in sprinkler and water-themed soundtrack families can play from their phones, and in August subscribers can “Road Trip” with a box that features a cardboard smartphone camcorder case, encouraging families to record their memories. Each box comes with a $10 DQ gift card.

The concept came from Kansas City-based creative agency Barkley, which drew inspiration for the boxes from their modern consumer knowledge that millennials prefer to use their purchasing power on experiences over material things. “Subscription boxes by nature are just a way to accumulate more stuff,” says Tim McCracken, Creative Director at Barkley, “We wanted to turn the subscription box concept on its head and create a box that offers what families really want this summer: time together.”

“Families create sweet memories whenever they visit a DQ store,” says Maria Hokanson, Executive Vice President of Marketing at American Dairy Queen Corporation (ADQ), “Box of Happy extends this delightful experience outside of our restaurants, bringing families together over campfires, road trips and more—experiences that shape the season just as much as enjoying soft-serve in the sunshine.”

The DQ Box of Happy subscription includes all three boxes for $45 and is currently sold out, but those who missed out will still be able to download an activity from a box each month at DQBoxofHappy.com.

This is the latest campaign under DQ’s newly launched tagline “Happy Tastes Good,” which positions the iconic brand as a destination for happy moments and memories. The new tagline replaces “Fan Food. Not Fast Food,” which has been the brand’s tagline since 2014.


Dairy Queen
Maria Hokanson - EVP, US Marketing
Whitney McChane - VP, Marketing Communications
Cassie D’Kae - Integrated Communications & Public Relations Manager
Lisa Jesser - Integrated Marketing Manager
Jenell Lammers - Content & Social Media Marketing Manager

Tim Galles - Chief Idea Officer
Katy Hornaday - Executive Creative Director
Berk Wasserman - Group Creative Director
Tim McCracken - Creative Director
Justin Smith - Sr. Copywriter
Chris Larberg - Sr. Art Director
Jasmine Henry - Producer
Chris Cardetti - Executive Strategy Director
Molly Griffin - Sr. Strategist
Justin Sutton - VP, Brand Leader
Julia Unverfehrt - Brand Supervisor
Madison Stanze - Assistant Brand Manager
Shelley Schulenberg - Senior Print Production Manager
Bailey Grover - Social Director
Katy Zimmerman - Social Supervisor
Macy Kaufman - Social Specialist

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