6.11.13: Dear Eric / 4sq Marketing


An Open Letter to Eric Ripert

This was going to be a post lauding Eric Ripert for posting several compelling Vines of his kitchen at Le Bernadin (like this one.) After all, according to reports, there are now more Vine shares on Twitter than Instagram (lots of reasons, but, takeaway: people lurve Vine). Last week, the video shooting and sharing app arrived on Android, and top-notch Eric Ripert posted his first few Vines. They were great! Now, they’re gone. Real talk: Eric Ripert is one of the best highbrow chefs on social, except he’s making one big mistake: he deletes his Tweets. The only way to get in on all of the goodness he shares is to follow him closely, consuming words, photos and now video as fast as possible before he deletes the evidence.
Why, Eric? Maybe you think too many tweets are muddying your feed (they aren’t.) Maybe you think you’re repetitive (you’re not that, either. You’re quite entertaining.)
Tweets, in their best form, capture a moment. Photos, videos and words add to the moment. For food Tweets, this especially applies. Here’s an analogy you might understand, Eric: Good food is grown, sourced, prepared, plated and served at its peak, bringing all of these exact moments together. It’s an art, an experience — and, in turn, a photo or video meant to be savored. Tweets and photos and posts and social shares live on as sweet reminders of these great and fleeting moments.
Please don’t delete them!



Foursquare’s #GameOfCones

Foursquare recently took a fun nod from HBO’s wildly popular “Game of Thrones,” launching witty Game of Cones promotions in New York and San Francisco. Toting the tagline (and hashtag) #SummerIsComing and smartly sponsored by HBO, the game, running through June 21, pits much-loved ice cream shops against each other. Badges represent the different “houses” of ice cream; locations in each city with the most check-ins (tagged #GameOfCones) win “the iron cone,” which may be nothing more than bragging rights (but is still kind of smart.)
No, we, the ice cream consumer, don’t really care who wins as long as we get our favorite flavor (in my case, Humphry Slocombe Secret Breakfast, go Humphry, go!). But points to both Foursquare and HBO for the witty and fun promotion. Food places, particularly our favorite dessert restaurants, carry positive association and experiences. Add a little wit, and you don’t even mind the blatant advertising. Well done.


The New Nopalize

Disclosure: I am involved in this project.
The smart restaurant-as-experience concept is catching on and taking off (yay!) Its latest incarnation: a revamp of the blog behind San Francisco’s Nopa, a behind-the-scenes look at the food, farms, people and ideals that go into creating the Nopa experience. Nopalize re-launched yesterday, and will contain daily content — a “digital journal,” according to the site’s creator — surrounding Nopa’s ideals. “Farm-to-table” may sound like a played-out term (because… it is), but posting the proof behind the concept reignites interest and passion around this SF game-changer. Give it a look.



Sound on Menus?

Speaking of restaurant-as-experience, here’s something I though I’d never say: Putting sound on a restaurant’s website seems to convey the (theme of this newsletter, apparently) “experience” factor. My favorite Sonoma County restaurant, Barndiva, adds the light sound of a group of diners happily eating and enjoying a meal to its photo slideshows. (Full experience! Huzzah!) And while planning an upcoming trip, I left the sweet sounds of French bakery Du Pain et Des Idees playing for an hour as I researched Parisian restaurants and sights, seriously elevating my trip-induced excitement level. Surely there are more restaurants doing this tastefully, and I like it. A change of heart, indeed.



Do “Live” Chats Really Work?

Spend an afternoon in social media marketing and undoubtedly you’ll hear a term like “live chat’ or “Twitter chat.” Do these work? Maybe? Temporarily? But as the social digital world takes its own content to the next level and follower counts for popular places and personalities climb into the tens of thousands, these hashtag-filled question-and-answer Tweets and posts muddy feeds and cause confusion. This morning, I spotted a #sponsored chat from @SeriousEats, completely out of left field and annoying enough to unfollow. Given that social platforms are, by nature, a live conversation, perhaps its time to rethink these in favor of a more aesthetically pleasing and organic opportunity to reach devoted fans and followers. (I promise you will hear it here first when someone does.)



  • Eater’s (finally) got a brand-new app — Eater
  • Donate $1,000 to this Oakland restaurant’s IndieGogo campaign, receive free beer for life. Not bad. —The Hog’s Apothecary
  • The current state of CSAs (and how they’ve evolved) — Modern Farmer
  • Read this now: Dark Rye. This Whole Foods-produced digital publication makes smart use of photos, video, and illustration to make a gorgeous point. This month, all about Detroit. — Dark Rye
  • Failed products from major brands: Savory Jello, for salads? But RIP, Crystal Pepsi. — The Daily Meal


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