Marketing Currents - Business and Marketing Current Events

Inside Butterball’s plight to save the holiday — and its business


Rebecca Welch remembers all too well the Thanksgiving Day she pulled the turkey out of the refrigerator to prep it for the oven and, with a crowd of in-laws standing around watching, realized it was still frozen solid. “I tried to remember everything I knew about thawing, but I was panicking,” she says. Finally, Welch did what some 100,000 other people do every year around Thanksgiving: She called Butterball’s Turkey Talk Line for help. The person at the other end talked her through the warm-water fast-thaw hack, and Thanksgiving was saved.

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Discussion Questions:

  1. Why do you think Thanksgiving is important to the Butterball brand?
  2. Based on information from this story, just how important is the Thanksgiving holiday to Butterball?
  3. Why do you think the brand launched a “Turkey Hotline” for consumers?
  4. What will be different about the brand’s turkey hotline this year?
  5. Why might this year be particularly challenging for Butterball?
  6. If you were a marketer working for Butterball, what would you do to encourage consumers to buy its products this Thanksgiving? Be prepared to discuss and share your ideas.
Chris Lindauer
After working for nearly a decade in professional sports, Chris Lindauer, formed Sports Career Consulting to provide unique sports business education opportunities in and out of the classroom. In the eighteen years (and counting) that followed, Chris has inspired thousands of students to pursue their passions and explore the career of their dreams. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, two teenage daughters and their dog.