Wedded Bliss

The Great Big Idaho Potato Truck’s perfect marketing marriage

Published in the August 2014 Issue Published online: Aug 10, 2014 Frank Muir, IPC President
Viewed 1278 time(s)
"Love at last. The Great Big Idaho Potato Tuck found a perfect partner in Omaha, Neb.

I have three married daughters whose husbands each asked me for their respective hands in marriage before they proposed.

I really never thought that question would be posed to me again.

Knowing how much people love the Great Big Idaho Potato Truck, I should have expected someone—or rather, something—to become smitten with her.

(Yes, she’s a she.) The team who manages the Truck’s day-to-day operations received a call from Omaha Steaks to see if a visit to its headquarters in Omaha, Neb., could be arranged. The Truck receives many invitations, but this one was by far the most extreme.

The Omaha Steaks public relations team arranged a wedding between the Great Big Idaho Potato Truck and the Omaha Steaks Truck. The Great Big Idaho Potato Truck wore a veil over her cab while the Omaha Steaks Truck donned a black bow tie on his bumper. There was an actual ceremony that was officiated by Beth Weiss, the in-house corporate communications director. She wore a cloak made from burlap and read very clever and pun-filled vows. Below is an excerpt:

“In all sincerity, these two outstanding families—Steak and Potatoes—have been tying the knot for years, from fields to feedlots to fine dining. They are always together. Why, just think of the famous couples who have travelled this road before you—There’s Burger and Fries, Meatloaf and Tater Tots, and don’t forget the everelegant Standing Rib with a Twice Baked. It is your destiny to be together, and we are honored to be here to witness your drive to culinary matrimonial bliss.”

The guests were asked to show their support by yelling, “Steak and spuds forever!”

The Trucks sealed their marriage with a unisonant honk of the horn. I share this story because it demonstrates the impact and excitement the Truck generates everywhere it goes. We receive so many requests for the Truck that we’ve learned to leave room in the schedule for impromptu visits such as this recent one to Omaha Steaks. In addition to the wedding, which is by far the most over-the-top event in the Truck’s history, the Truck has made appearances at a few other not-so-ordinary events:

• Pennsville Prom in Fairless Hills, Pa. This high school prom is consistently ranked the best prom in the country.

• World’s Largest Catsup Bottle. If this sounds familiar, it’s because we visited it last year and were invited back with more fanfare than before.

•55th World Lumberjack Competition.

There’s no doubt this is a meat and potatoes type of crowd!

Of course, visiting retail partners and stopping by restaurants known for their potato dishes are high priorities for the 2014 tour. However, when a radio station in Champaign, Ill., hears we’ll be in the area and wants to create an event just for us, there’s no way we can turn them down. The requests for the Truck are all from folks who are just as passionate about potatoes as we are. We personally respond to each and every one and try to accommodate as many as possible.

In the three years the Truck has been on the road, it has encountered millions of people, generated more than a billion media impressions, and, best of all, we’ve never received a negative comment.

We plan to keep the Great Big Idaho Potato Truck on the road for at least two more years, so if you haven’t had a chance to see it yet, you still have plenty of opportunities.