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franks red hot example of great marketing

I woke up the other day to the sound of a commercial...

It caught my attention because it had a little old lady talking about how she "puts that sh*t on everything".

The "sh*t" she was talking about is Frank's Red Hot sauce, and it not only caught my attention, but it made me laugh hysterically.

Here's a video clip of one of the ads (the radio spot is a bit different):

Here's another short spot that will lift your spirits and make you laugh:


Frank's has since released additional commercials -- they are nowhere near as good as the old ones, but play off of the new love affair with dating apps and a new take on spiking the punch:


So let's talk about what the company did RIGHT with their offline and online marketing initiatives (as well as their website) and also look at what they did WRONG because inevitably, there are always things that could be done better or are being neglected, that a company can improve upon and that we can learn from.

And while Frank's did a lot right, they also made some key mistakes that you can and should learn from.

What Frank's Did Right:

  • Offline Marketing: The radio and television spots are memorable, short and to the point.Franks Red Hot Ethel

This is a hard feat to achieve because oftentimes we remember Super Bowl ads or other marketing initiatives not because of the product in question, but more so because of the ad. In the meantime, the entire product gets lost.

In Frank's ads however, you remember that it is hot sauce because Ethel (the old lady in the ads), tells us that she "puts that sh*t on everything..." which makes me laugh every time I hear it, read it, or type it.

You then think to yourself: "What exactly is that sh*t?" oh yeah, it's hot sauce...

  • Website: Frank's then ties in their actual website beautifully with their offline initiatives so you know you're in the right place immediately.

From Ethel greeting you with her presence, to the large bottles of hot sauce and links to recipes, videos and more, the site is fairly straightforward, interactive, fun, easy to navigate and looks great.

  • Social Media: Frank's does a great job of making their social media front and center (but missed some vital pieces -- more below!), with a Facebook fan page invitation scrawled across the top of every page of their website.

They have almost 120,000 "likes" and do a great job of interacting with, and using social media to promote their brand and endear themselves to their loyal customers and fans.

BUT, as with any marketing campaign and web presence however, there are mistakes that should be fixed immediately to help Frank's promote their brand and gain even more loyal followers, not to mention for usability and best practices.

What Frank's Did Wrong:

  • Social Media Fake-Out: When you look at Frank's homepage, you'll notice a Facebook and Twitter icon in the middle of the page.

Franks Red Hot Example of Bad MarketingThis will take you directly to those fan pages respectively right?


Frank's goofed big time here as they made these some sort of social media news feed about people talking about their brand on Twitter and Facebook rather than using industry standards and what people come to expect when they click on social media icons on your site that DON'T say "share".

These should instead open to their respective social media pages.

They need to fix this ASAP.

  • Mikes Red Hot Bad Social Media ExampleSocial Media Fake-Out 2: On the bottom of every page, Frank's has another row of social media icons with the word "share" next to them.

Oops...same mistake as before.

These should be links to the respective social media pages that Frank's runs or doesn't...more on that in a second.

If they want to add "share" icons, that's fine, but make them clearly visible and actionable with the Facebook "Like" icon and others that are industry standards and users know well.

The worst thing you can do is confuse users with new ways of doing things that they are used to doing already unless you have a very compelling reason for changing things up -- in this case Frank's does not.

  • Abandoned/Missing Social Media: Where's the links to Frank's Twitter account and/or YouTube channel?

I did some poking around, and while Frank's has a YouTube channel, it hasn't been updated in quite some time (they are featuring only 2 videos, with no links to any of the more recent ones), and their Twitter account hasn't been updated since March of 2008! Yikes...

Frank's should have these social media platforms active and tied into their Facebook page.

This is especially important because their videos, recipes and other content are fantastic for sharing, embedding on websites and passing along and making viral.

They are losing a lot by not doing this.

  • Embedding Videos: Frank's also doesn't have code on their website to easily embed their great videos (free SEO and backlink juice!), or at least have a link to their YouTube channel. This needs to be addressed ASAP!

Bottom Line:

Frank' Ethel With Hot Sauce Bottle

Frank's has a killer offline marketing campaign that ties in beautifully with their online website and social media presence.

However, as with any marketing campaign, there are some areas that need to be shored up to take advantage of all the free exposure and SEO value that Frank's is missing out on without doing any additional work!

Overall, Frank's "I put that sh*t on everything" campaign does all the right things in a memorable and clever way, and we all should be so lucky to have created such an intelligent, funny and memorable campaign that ties in with our Internet marketing efforts so effectively.

If Frank's cleans up the few issues that they have (glaring in some instances) they'll be unstoppable within their niche.