Search for “fried turkey” on YouTube and you’ll see plenty of “how-to" (and, perhaps more life-savingly, “how not to”) videos. But this Thanksgiving, you’ll see more of something else: ads and promoted content.
As more turkey and convenience loving Americans trade the oven for the deep fryer, brands on YouTube are figuring out how to cash in on the craze. Anecdotally, "we are seeing much more brand interest around the 'fried turkey' searches this year, compared to last,” said a YouTube spokeswoman.
But is this a wise gambit? As of Wednesday, consumer searches for "fried turkey" were actually down 56 percent from last year, but YouTube says searches could still spike on Thanksgiving Day and top last year's volume.
Capitalizing on searches for the diabolically delicious way of cooking poultry, the YouTube rep says insurance firms State Farm and Progressive and grocery chain Safeway are running YouTube ads or promoted content against “fried turkey” or “deep-fried turkey” searches for the first time this year. The BBQ Guys website is reprising its “how to deep fry a turkey” ad, which walks would-be fryers through some best practices.
State Farm even reached out to William Shatner for a series of branded PSAs after learning that a frying episode gone wrong left him with burns on both arms. The dramatic re-enactments, one of which is called “‘Eat, Fry, Love,’ a turkey fryer cautionary tale,” blend humor and fowl brimstone to give tips on safe frying.
So if you’re daring to deep fry your bird this year, remember the melodramatic (yet monstrously accurate) words of Shatner: “Fire, metal, oil, and turkey are glorious when in harmony . . . but their power is unrelenting in careless hands.”
A few more tidbits on “fried turkey” YouTube searches offer a revealing glimpse:
• Over 2,300 search results for "fried turkey" on YouTube.
• Over 1,600 search results for "how to fry a turkey" on YouTube.
• Searches for "fried turkey" and "how to fry a turkey" spike every year on YouTube in November.
• Searches for "fried turkey" are up 615 percent in the U.S. on YouTube since Oct. 11.