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The parsley, the egg, and the branded content

Via Sullivan, a description of how Maxwell House Coffee got its brand on 50 million Passover tables:

Maxwell House decided to publish a book, specifically a Haggadah, and offer it to customers for free with the purchase of a can of coffee. (A Haggadah recounts the Exodus from Egypt, comprised of prayers, songs, and stories which guide the Passover Seder.) The Maxwell House edition was an instant hit. Today, it’s the most popular Haggadah in the world, with over 50 million printed.

Why has this piece of branded content endured generation after generation? Four underlining principles make the Maxwell House Haggadah the perfect case study in branded content:

1. Branded content must serve a consumer need.
Maxwell House wasn’t distributing content for the sake of distributing content; most likely, the agency lead didn’t have a secret ambition to be a translator (or rabbi!). Instead, it began with a simple insight: Jewish families spend quality time around the Seder engaged with a Haggadah.

Also the branding didn't intrude, like having Moses "descend Mt. Sinai with the tablets in one hand and a latte in the other."

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