Marketing

Mood Board: Why Dole is leaning on a classic meme to sell fruit cups

The team behind the brand’s latest campaign knew parents would get the joke.
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Dole

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Turning a meme into an advertising campaign is a practice as old as the internet. Just ask the honey badger, an internet sensation turned shill for pistachios.

In a campaign for its fruit cups, Dole mined memes and came back with two spots that would make absurdist comedy duo Tim & Eric blush. Called “Hold My Fruit Bowl,” Marketing Brew chatted with the team behind the campaign to find out how it came to be.

The meme: It’s built around the “Hold my beer” meme, usually referencing a precursor to something incredibly stupid and done under the influence. It’s the epitome of machismo, which is the joke considering the creative is aimed at families with children, according to Eric Kallman, founder and chief creative officer of Erich and Kallman, the agency behind the ad.

“When you’re advertising to parents, it’s about your kids’ food. It’s a serious subject a lot of the time…it can lead to creative work that gets a little boring, looks and feels a little generic.” (So much so that it’s been parodied.)

In your face: The brand almost went with “Hold My Dole Bowl” as the tag line, but decided against it. “We got strong guidance from the creative team that was like, ‘You’re pushing your brand too much,’” Dole’s VP of marketing Orzse Hodi told us.

Woodsy theme: In each spot, the kids do something incredible—whether talking to an eagle or skipping a rock to the Arctic. Apparently, feats of strength are hard to pull off (and shoot) inside. So, each spot was set in the great outdoors.

Twang: A classic Spaghetti Western riff is plucked whenever the kids drop the spot’s tagline, because a well-fed child with confidence can be as frightening as Clint Eastwood.

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