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Under the Microscope: Aunt Jemima's Facebook Campaign

What: The brand's first foray launched into social media launched this week with a Facebook page that is centered around series of videos featuring veteran employees who describe the "just like homemade process" and the people behind it. There is also a Twitter handle @LiveFromTheLine as well as an online ad component to drive people to the page, which will also have the de rigueur coupons and recipes.

Who: Developed by Weber Shandwick (via Brandweek), the videos are starring employees Jennifer Franklin, Charley Schumaker and Susie Tomlinson, who work at the Aunt Jemima plant in Jackson, Tenn. The company held a contest to determine which employees would be featured in the videos. They'll be appearing at events throughout the year.

"The goal is really to share with America how we make our pancakes, waffles and French toast, which is exactly the way you do it at home," Andy Reichgut, vp of marketing, Pinnacle Foods, which has marketed the brand since 1996 under a licensing agreement with The Quaker Oats Co., tells Brandweek.

The Background: Established in 1889, Aunt Jemima is an iconic brand in the US - and for many, a painful one. The brand, many say, perpetuates a racial stereotype of African-American women, Technorati writes. Nancy Green was the first Aunt Jemima, born a slave in 1834. She signed an contract to portray the character for the rest of her life, Technorati reports, which she did, cooking pancakes, singing songs and telling stories of the Old South, until she died in 1951.

Twitter versus Facebook: The Twitter handle is primarily to drive people to the site, as the initial Tweets ("Need some breakfast inspiration? Check out our recipes!") illustrate. Recent statistics that All Facebook reported, provided by group buying start up ChompOn, add weight to this Facebook-first strategy. ChompOn has calculated the value of a Facebook posting in driving social shopping at $14, it’s nearly three times what a Tweet is worth. Also, likes are worth $8, it said.


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