Tyson Foods breaks Jimmy Dean sausage products out of the “special occasion” box with AR and VR technology

13 January 2023 | By Jareen Imam, Sr. Content and Editorial Manager

Jimmy Dean sausage product ad on a mobile phone

When you’re a brand with a great product, but it only seems to be selling at certain times of the year, you might ask yourself: How do we break out of the “special occasion” box? That’s exactly the position where Tyson Foods found themselves when they were looking at their sales of Jimmy Dean Fresh Sausage products. Their research found that customers were purchasing and eating their breakfast sausage products mostly on the weekends or during the holiday season. However, Tyson Foods wanted to find a way to make Jimmy Dean Fresh Sausage products a more regular part of customers’ daily lives.

At CES, one of the most influential technology conferences in the world, Amazon Ads sat down with brand leaders and agency partners in our content studio to discuss ways they are connecting with audiences, staying top of mind and inspiring brand love and loyalty. At the 2023 conference, we interviewed Clare Liston, director of paid media at Tyson Foods, where she oversees all paid media investment across their portfolio of retail brands including Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm, Hillshire Snacking, Ball Park, Aidells and Wright Brand.

During our interview, she shared how Tyson Foods worked with Snapchat and Amazon Ads, using augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to increase awareness, consideration and conversion for Jimmy Dean Fresh Sausage products. Here’s how Tyson Foods was able to bring unexpected delight to consumers using innovative technology, while also bringing attention to their products.

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Tell me about the Egg Hack campaign.

Our challenge at Jimmy Dean was that consumers really only purchased our Fresh Roll Sausage one to two times a year, most often around the holidays. But we wanted to give them a reason to think about Jimmy Dean at other times of the year.

As we started to think about how we can make people take Jimmy Dean Fresh Sausage out of the “special occasion” box, we asked ourselves, if they don’t eat sausage, what do they eat most often?

This is how we turned our attention to eggs and unearthed the insight that the average American eats 279 eggs per year. If we were going to be on the breakfast table more often, we needed to start hacking attention from eggs and position Jimmy Dean as the perfect egg-pairing partner.

How did this campaign use AR, VR and mobile? Why was using that technology important?

Using machine learning, we trained a mobile filter to detect any egg when scanned. Then, we partnered with Snapchat and Amazon Ads to create an AR/VR experience in which consumers were able to simply scan an egg with their phone to unlock a “coupon” in the Amazon store for a free roll of Jimmy Dean sausage.

We knew that we could extend our “turn an egg into sausage” message across various Amazon channels like audio, video, display and even insert the message on packaging, to encourage consumer participation.

These creative experiences give brands a unique opportunity to connect with their consumer in a way that is both fun and practical.

When the campaign went live, how did customers react?

Consumers reacted by engaging with the branded AR experience and through conversion almost immediately. On Snapchat, the egg-scanning lens achieved an average play time of 12.31 seconds [above average of 7 to 10] and a share rate 41% above the app’s average.1 Egg Scan technology drove over 75,000 views to the coupon in the Amazon store and drove more than 400 sausage redemptions.2 Fifty-two percent of those customers were new to the brand.3 Big picture, we saw 28.7% sales growth compared to the same period in 2019 showing that the total campaign effectively created awareness and purchase outside of the usual holiday purchase window.4

What was your team’s response to the success of the campaign? Did you all expect to exceed benchmarks?

We felt enthusiastically about the Egg Hack campaign throughout the entire planning process and campaign activation, but even more so when we saw the immediate success of working with Amazon Ads.

The campaign has won several awards. Why do you think it stands out?

I think this campaign stands out because both the insight and campaign goals were so clear. In all paid media executions, we seek to remind consumers that eggs are better with sausage, and the AR/VR experience was a really fun way to bring that to life.

How would you describe the Tyson Foods collaboration with Amazon Ads on this campaign?

The collaboration with Amazon Ads was incredible. The in-depth understanding Amazon Ads has of branded media experiences is what made this campaign possible. Amazon Ads was able to help us bridge a consumer-facing activation into actual retail conversion. When we told Amazon Ads we wanted to used AR/VR technology for a new experience, they were engaged and excited and moved mountains to get the program where it needed to be, and the results are there to prove it.

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1–4 Tyson Foods, Egg Hack campaign, US, 2022