We need to look at 2 major audiences here, people who watch March Madness and people who would eat Ritz Toasted Chips. Unfortunately, my group and I only fell into the latter category, so before we could do much of anything, we had to sit down, snack, and learn about basketball.
We tried really hard to look at March Madness from the perspective of a basketball fan. We were able to pull a few insights from there, but they all felt like common knowledge. "Mostly male dominated," "multiple games going on at once," "fans enjoy those 'cinderella' stories," etc. We were running around in a circle trying to understand how to get hype about the game. And then it hit me. How can we, as non basketball players, get truly hype about a game we know nothing about. From this thought, we were able to find some fresh insights.
March Madness has record breaking view counts.
But this isn't reflected in the regular seasons. Who are all these people and why are they tuning in? What's motivating them?
Not everyone watches the game for the basketball.
Some people only care about their brackets or the fact that their school is playing.
Something is motivating non-fans to watch March Madness.
We need to dive into not the game itself, but things associated with the game and game day.
We needed to find that "thing" that was attracting people to the game. We saw people mentioning their brackets and schools. People were willing to become fake die hard fans just to feel the hype of winning. Even more so than that, people were showing up for the food, the drinks, and the company.
People were showing up to party.
Truths & Direction
With the party as our grounding point, we had something solid to bring RTC back into. By building out our truths and insights, we were able to formulate a solid direction.
CATEGORY TRUTH: WHAT ARE WE TALKING ABOUT?
Millions of people participate in the March Madness hype every year.
BRAND TRUTH: WHO ARE WE?
Because Ritz values inclusivity and good energy overall. Ritz shapes their brand to ensure everyone is having a fun and exciting time to “satisfy every snacker”.
CULTURE TRUTH: WHAT DO PEOPLE THINK?
People play into the excitement of March Madness through celebrations and watch parties.
INSIGHT: THE TRUTH WE’RE REVEALING
Basketball isn’t the biggest part of March Madness for everyone.
STRATEGY: WHAT WE’RE SAYING
Ritz Toasted Chips celebrates everyone who shows up for the game, no matter what their commitment is to basketball.
Ritz Toasted Chips: The Champion of Everything but the Game
Figuring out how the programming would function was a huge factor in this project. I needed to figure out touch points and needs in order to create some sort of framework to justify how my solution functions.
We worked together with our copywriter to create a manifesto that reflected what our purpose was moving forward.
Millions of people participate in March Madness every year, because it’s more than just a game. March Madness is a celebration; an excuse for people to come together to experience the hype together. Fans huddled around the TV cheering on their favorite team, carefully watching each play to make sure not a single moment is missed. But what about the rest of the room? The partners, friends, families, neighbors, etc. of the sports fan. The people who show up to the party not for the game, but for the experience. The people who would rather cheer for what’s being served to eat rather than for what's on the screen.
We really struggled with deciding on an execution that was both buzz-worthy and realistic on a limited budget. We had to think in a scrappy way that would grab people's attention in a way that aligns with our strategy. How could we celebrate everything but the game without taking away too much attention from the game?
Instead of game updates on the bottom of the TV screen, we broadcast tweeted party updates.
March Madness Tailgate
Host a RTC branded tailgate outside of the stadium.
It's like the puppybowl, but using chip figurines instead.
Non-Fan Game Placement
Have someone at the game do everything but watch the game itself.
RTC Hype Squad
Send a hype squad to people's houses to bring the hype and the party supplies.
Have a non-sports fan comment on the game in terms that dumbs down the game.
Sculpting a Solution
We took a look at all of our thought up ideas, and pulled some of our favorite components from them. We really liked the idea of your "average Joe" being incorporated into the game to explain what's going on, as well as the idea of supplying everything but the game to individuals.
Our solution was to supply not only the game, but the knowledge you need to get hype without having to disrupt the rest of the room. We created a formula for the best "non-fan fan party," combining both things we heard from social media, as well as personal insights from our own non-fan perspectives.