In Community, Uncategorized

316 Strategy Group Teams Up With World Champion Pitmaster to Win Silver

OMAHA, NE (May 10, 2022) – Local Omaha design and marketing firm, 316 Strategy Group, has been awarded the prestigious silver Davey Award in recognition of outstanding creative work. Their crisis management marketing campaign for Porky Butts BBQ in Omaha, NE, has received the 2021 Silver Award in the category of Crisis Management. This accolade is the latest in a series of awards the agency has won since opening its doors nearly a decade ago.

Megan Oswald

316 Strategy Group client, Porky Butts BBQ, retained services from the Omaha-based firm, in order to create a clean and informative crisis management campaign during the COVID pandemic.  A key challenge for the campaign was to incorporate visual elements to quickly provide the appropriate information to the hands of those in need. Utilizing visually appealing imagery that would resonate with the community was critical to the success of the crisis management campaign.

Serving clients of the Omaha metro area and beyond for nearly a decade, 316 Strategy Group has prided itself in creating unique marketing campaigns that often push the limits of what’s normal. With two offices in the Omaha area, the firm offers fresh, modern, and creative options to help clients capture their target audience and increase their profitability, including web design, branding, advertising, marketing, and public relations. In the words of owner and President, Joseph Kenney, “Our firm provides the highest-quality service, while catering each marketing campaign to the clients’ specific needs, so every company connects with its customers, without missing the mark.

Blane Hunter, a four time world-champion pitmaster, retained the services of 316 Strategy Group to create a marketing campaign that would help the community. “The crisis of suffering during the heart of the COVID pandemic was in plain sight, and there was no time to waste,” Hunter said as he discussed the crisis management campaign Thursday evening from his restaurant in Omaha, Nebraska.

Beef Rib Stimulous Checks

316 Strategy Group discussed a number of campaign options but quickly landed on a Beef Rib Stimulous program and put Megan Oswald in charge of overseeing the project. The campaign would require Hunter and his award-winning pit crew to give away Beef Ribs to the public via an online lottery system.

Hunter acknowledged the ambition — and the cost of the crisis management campaign — of the proposed beef rib stimulus plan, but he argued that the bold investments will lift spirits and pay dividends for the community. He loved the idea.

“We had to act, and we had to act quickly. People wanted beef ribs.” ~ Blane Hunter

“I know what 316 Strategy Group proposed would not come cheaply. Beef Ribs, at the time, ranged in cost from $25-45 a bone throughout the country, but failure to do something would have cost us dearly,” Hunter said. “The consensus among our pit crew was that we simply couldn’t afford not to do what they’re proposing. We had to act quickly.”

World Champion Pitmaster, Blane Hunter pictured with award-winning ribs and the silver Davey.

With Hunter’s approval, 316 Strategy Group started crafting a campaign, called the Beef Rib Stimulus Plan, which included several unfamiliar stimulus measures in the hope the additional support would help sustain family members in the Omaha community.

Megan Oswald, an account manager at 316 Strategy Group, recalls “When I was presented with the Beef Rib Stimulous Plan idea for Porky Butts back in April 2020, I thought it was such a clever way to make the most of a difficult time for restaurants. I love when designs are playful and witty, so I had a fun time creating this campaign.”

Oswald designed the Beef Rib Stimulous checks. Hunter personally signed hundreds before they were distibuted to the Omaha community.

Fellow restaurant owners and civic leaders were quick to applaud the measure by Porky Butts BBQ, the Omaha Food Magazine quickly made a statement to the community.

“With the beef rib stimulus package Blane Hunter, announced, he is moving swiftly to deliver that help, lift spirits, and meet the needs of the Omaha community. Restaurants throughout the Omaha community expressed gratitude toward and look forward to working with Hunter on additional stimulus packages in the near future,” the Omaha Food Magazine said in a press release in April, 2020.

“The emergency relief framework of the beef rib stimulus package announced by American Royal winner was the right approach,” the Omaha Food Magazine added. “It reminds us that the metro area has restaurateurs that understand the need to take swift action to address the needs of the Omaha community.”

Hunter said Thursday they know the beef rib stimulus package brought joy to the community during very difficult times. The former rib king received messages of support throughout Omaha and across the country.

The beef rib stimulus campaign had reached in excess of 500,000 on Facebook. Hunter’s beef rib stimulus package impacted more than just the Omaha community after social media posts went viral. “The response from the community was insane,” Hunter said. “It shows the community was hurting and we’re just glad we could feed a few people and lift their spirits along the way.”

“The response on social media to our crisis management campaign was incredible. Winning this award was unexpected and a total honor. So thankful to be part of this creative and innovative team here at 316 Strategy Group!” Said Oswald. 

Hunter has amassed more BBQ grand championships in a three-year period of time than any other pitmaster on record. Hunter is an almost certain pick for the BBQ Hall of Fame. Hunter is now known in Omaha as more than just a world champion pitmaster and rib king; Hunter is a philanthropist.


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