Who Really Sold Patti’s Pies?

Thanksgiving is upon us and I will be throwing down in the kitchen as I do every year. Turkey, dressing, mac-n-cheese, cake and of course, pie – sweet potato pie, to be specific. I am quite blessed that I know how to bake the traditional southern treat from scratch, on my own.

Speaking of, on my own – by now, who hasn’t seen the video of vlogger James Wright Chanel reviewing singer Patti LaBelle’s sweet potato pie sold at Walmart? Earlier this year, Patti teamed up with Walmart to get her signature pies on store shelves. It costs $3.48 and features the image of the chanteuse on the side of the box.  That wasn’t enough, though, sales were just OK when it came out in September.

Enter James.

Last week he posted his review in which he unboxes and eats the Patti LaBelle pie while singing some of Patti’s hits. The video has since racked up  millions of views, and Walmart hasn’t been able to keep up with the ensuing demand  – at one point they were selling one pie per second for 72 hours straight. So, Walmart is now scrambling to get restocked, asking suppliers to shift production and get its hand on 2 million pounds of sweet potatoes. The pies have brought in over 2 million dollars.

Patti did call James to thank him. That was cute.

It is clear that without James’ review, sales would not have skyrocketed through the roof. As a digital marketer, I am always in search of on-line influencers who will help move the needle on sales and have engaged audiences. The beauty of James is that he wasn’t tied to Walmart at all (as far as I know) and took it upon himself to review the pies – authentically. He’s truly an online power-house. I would add that he deserves to be compensated accordingly.

Apparently, and sadly, Patti disagrees. Bask in the shade of the video below. If anything, the lesson learned is, be careful what you endorse on your own. You may not get credit where credit is due!

patti

 

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