Warner Bros. Aims To Spur Tarzan Ticket Sales With Chef’d Partnership

Chef'd CEO Kyle Ransford talks creating Tarzan-themed meals — and what's to come for the on-demand company's brand partnerships in the second half of 2016.

Warner Bros. has partnered with meal-delivery service Chef’d to promote the July 1 release of Tarzan, with Chef’d creating six themed tropical meals aimed at driving awareness of the film across key U.S. markets.

The impetuous behind the on-demand partnership — of which there have been many of late — is simple: Chef’d has a new meal option which will hopefully entice customers to place more orders, and Warner Bros. ties promotion of the film into a service that empowers customers to cook meals that fit into their busy lives.

But why a partnership with a service like Chef’d in particular?

“In a digital world, the question is: How do you get people to actually physically get something in their hand that makes them pay attention?” said Kyle Ransford, Chef’d’s CEO. “That’s the opportunity here.”

GeoMarketing: How did the Tarzan partnership come about? And what is the strategy for Warner Bros. in terms of tying it back to actual ticket sales for the film?

Kyle Ransford: Warner Bros. and their PR firm approached us about this concept. They, like many others, are trying to make their promotional efforts about deeper relationships — not just posting “go see this movie” on Facebook.

So the question is, in a digital world, how do you get people to actually physically get something in their hand that makes them pay attention? That’s [the opportunity] here. We’re all consumers of food every day.

As we see with the on-demand market, people want food shipped to them — and it works for it to be curated for them around a theme, because it’s fun and interesting. What Warner Bros. was attracted to in [a partnership with Chef’d] for Tarzan is how it integrates the brand into food in an interesting and [organic] way, and it drives the action from the kitchen to buying tickets at the theater with the idea of Tarzan meals are “coming to a kitchen near you.”

The Tarzan partnership is national — across the lower 48 states. Are most of your brand partnerships national? Does Chef’d engage in location-specific promotions with local restaurants or retailers?

Our distribution system is set up to be national. Generally we view that as a plus — we’re uniquely set up to do promotions like this for various brands in a lot of areas.

It’s just as easy for us to set it up in our distribution centers across the country and send it nationally as it is just to do it locally. Generally, we’re finding brands are more interested in that — even if I’m a New York restaurant that’s trying to promote my brand, promoting it nationally and across social media can really be beneficial.

That said, if [a local brand] wanted to do a tie in and only have us sell or promote in a certain geographic area, we can certainly do that.

In your mind, what distinguishes Chef’d from competitors who could theoretically set up similar partnerships, like Blue Apron? What makes Chef’d different?

Well, the end product of cooking dinner and getting pre-portioned ingredients is very similar, right?

The part that makes us very different than virtually all the rest is that on our site, you have choice. You get there and there will three hundred different meals that you can choose from, all different brands. It’s all there, from meals by celebrity chefs, to Weight Watchers, et cetera.

Also, we’re on-demand. It depends on the exact service, but with most competitors, you have one day, maybe two days a week where you’d have the option to get your box.

We make it more accessible immediately, because we’ve really tried to design around the consumer and what the consumer wants, rather than what’s easier for production. The other biggest thing is that you can reorder meals you like whenever you want. You have the option to reorder, but still we’re not forcing you into a subscription.

What’s next for Chef’d? Any forthcoming developments or partnerships you can share?

I think that the big interesting thing for Chef’d this year is the continued growth of specialty brands and promotions like this.

Then secondly, you’re going to start seeing the Chef’d button to order on a large number of brands’ websites, to make the partnership [integrations] truly seamless. Before, you’d have to come to our website to order meals, but this year, you’re going to see us on lots of different websites of our partners and our potential partners.

About The Author
Lauryn Chamberlain Lauryn Chamberlain @laurynchamberla

Lauryn Chamberlain is the Associate Editor of A New York City based journalist, she specializes in stories related to retail, dining, hospitality, and travel.