Behind the Work in association withThe Immortal Awards

How This Agency “Chilinnovated” a 15-Gallon Keg of Cheese For Your Super Bowl Party

Advertising Agency
Minneapolis, USA
BBDO Minneapolis explain how they created a giant Hormel Chili Cheese Keg which will make one lucky fan a “Super Bowl of snacking” hero, writes Ben Conway

Ahead of 2022’s much-anticipated Super Bowl - described as “the championship of snacking” by Matthew Cermak, associate creative director at BBDO Minneapolis - the agency teamed up with food company Hormel to create a ‘Chili Cheese Keg’ that a lucky fan can actually win. 

The competition ends on February 6, giving the lucky winner plenty of time to receive their gargantuan 15-gallon keg of chili cheese in time for the game of games, which takes place on the eve of Valentine’s day this month. Providing over 1000 servings of Hormel’s Chili Cheese, this monstrous condiment keg has been devised by the minds at BBDO Minneapolis and includes “chilinnovations” such as temperature control and a Hormel Chili can-styled pump handle. 

Accompanying the competition is a launch video that shows off the impressive stature of what they cheekily describe as “the greatest appetiser ever made… of all time”. This launch video comes after a series of films that BBDO Minneapolis has created for Hormel’s products, as we approach Super Bowl season - such as this equally bizarre and wacky film for Hormel Chili. From an outside perspective, it appears that the agency might have developed a penchant for creating some seriously entertaining - but often times strange - campaigns and films that are guaranteed to make you stop and watch, if only in bewilderment. 

Speaking with LBB’s Ben Conway, BBDO’s Minneapolis creative team explain their approach to thinking outside the box for their campaigns, as well as discussing how they created the Chili Cheese Keg ahead of one of the biggest sporting events of the year.

LBB> Okay, things just keep getting stranger - stretchy arms, Coolio wrapping a turkey, nacho hands and now a cheese keg? Is BBDO Minneapolis trying to get a reputation for being a bit ‘out-there’? 

BBDO Minneapolis> We’re always looking for new ideas and surprising ways to bring those ideas to life to get more attention for our clients’ brands and our work. We don’t set out to “do whacky” but to do what’s right strategically and executed awesomely.  

LBB> Why do you think Hormel and your other clients appreciate the wackier and more unique concepts that you bring to creative? 

BBDO Minneapolis> Our clients appreciate that these unexpected ideas get their brands more attention - but they can also see clearly how those ideas are rooted in strategy. For example, a chili cheese keg is a more entertaining way of reminding our audience that HORMEL® Chili Cheese Dip should be at their football party. Hormel has many great brands that consumers have loved for generations, but we always need ways to keep the brand fresh so that they’re always relevant and loved for generations to come.     

LBB> How did the idea for a cheese keg come about? How did this idea develop from just a concept to the physical object existing? 

BBDO Minneapolis> It all started with the insight that the Super Bowl party is also the Super Bowl of snacking. Everyone goes big, brings their tastiest recipes, and this leads to a big showdown at the snack table.   

We know HORMEL® Chili Cheese dip is a crowd favourite, but we began to wonder how we could take it to the next level. Kegs are a part of football’s tailgate culture, and with their visual similarity to a 14.5 oz can, it only seemed like a natural way to demonstrate how HORMEL® Chili pours on excitement.  

The HORMEL® Chili Cheese Keg is a pretty simple idea, but it’s something that’s never been done. So, as you can imagine, transforming it from concept into reality was a truly complicated feat of engineering. We, along with our fabrication partners at Street Factory Media, were forced to consider everything from how to apply food-safe temperatures inside a pressured environment, to the viscosity levels of chili cheese. Meticulous thought was put into the user experience, its graphic design, how it can be refilled for later uses, and the optimal recipe for combining great taste and optimal flow. There’s even an instructional video. It was some real moonshot stuff – but tastier. 


LBB> What was Hormel’s initial reaction to the cheese keg idea? And how have everyone else’s reactions been so far? 

BBDO Minneapolis> Hormel’s reaction was overwhelmingly positive, and followed by a practical question, “Is that possible?”.   

Early reactions from the public have been extremely positive, as well. HORMEL® Chili Cheese Dip has an almost ubiquitous presence at football watch parties. So the thought of having a seemingly unlimited amount of that delicious fan fuel, presented in such a humorous way, is an idea that gets people excited. 

The keg is a perfect expression of the love fans have for HORMEL® Chili Cheese dip, and because of its sheer audacity, people want to talk about it and share it with others.  



LBB> And you’re giving a keg away in a competition? How did this idea develop? -  And why is it effective in this campaign?  


BBDO Minneapolis> Why keep this kind of chilinovation to ourselves? But due to the complicated engineering, we could only develop a certain number of kegs, so leaning into its exclusivity seemed like the clearest, most exciting approach.  As this activation is to run during the Super Bowl season, there are parties to be thrown and tailgates to be dominated – so we’re giving people the opportunity not just to win something cool and delicious, but “win” the Super Bowl (party) in a unique way.   

This activation, paired with our TV and social media work, helps to raise awareness on multiple fronts, and ensure HORMEL® Chili Cheese Dip lands on those coffee tables (and in shopping carts) come February. 

LBB> Please tell us that there is more craziness to come! How do you follow up a giant chili cheese keg? Are you constantly trying to one-up yourselves? 

BBDO Minneapolis> For sure... there’s more in the works (but we’d have to kill you if we told you more). But that’s the double edge of doing cool stuff isn’t it? You’ve always got to keep upping your game – but we’ll take that challenge happily. Work that gets people excited begets an appetite for more work that people will be excited about.   



LBB> Is this light-heartedness and eccentric ideas something that the industry as a whole is missing right now? 


BBDO Minneapolis> We hate any “this is what we do in our industry right now” trend. You’ve got to look at the brand and their essence and figure out the right brand space that will make people want to give two cents about you. The place Hormel Chili holds in our lives is very joyful (wherever there’s chili dogs and chili cheese dip, you’re usually having a really good time). So our work should be fun AF. 

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