In the world of business, cross-marketing is a big thing these days. In cross-marketing, companies use one brand to try to promote another, even, and perhaps especially, when the two brands are not at all related. Thus, this spring, the candy aisle in the grocery store features Star Wars M&Ms – some for the dark side of the force, and some more of your typical Jedi Knight style of colored chocolate candies.
Yesterday, my experience of cross-marketing hit a new low. My wife went to our local food co-op and brought home a little container of Nascar brand grape tomatoes.
These little grape tomatoes are not, as the naive among you might suspect, raised and sold by Nascar. They are, in fact, grown and packed by a company out of Plant City, Florida, called East Coast Brokers and Packers.
I’ve got to wonder what the heck the East Coast Brokers and Packers were thinking when they made this deal. Were they thinking that the Nascar name would encourage people to buy their grape tomatoes instead of anybody else’s? Well, think again. Here’s what I think of when presented with the Nascar brand name:
- Motor oil
- Squished things on dirty roads
Here’s what I don’t think of when presented with the Nascar brand name:
- Delicate perishable goods
- Eating in
Perhaps the goal of this cross-marketing campaign is to produce the kind of cognitive dissonance that I am experiencing when confronted with the existence of a Nascar grape tomato. If that’s so, I imagine that we can expect a great deal more of this approach from Nascar. So, what’s next? Nascar mayonnaise? Nascar caviar? Nascar lingerie? The Nascar Symphony Orchestra?