Patti LaBelle spent Thanksgiving with the guy whose viral video helped her …

27 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Is sweet potato pie the new pumpkin pie?.

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A Los Angeles man who caused a run on Patti LaBelle’s sweet potato pies with his hilarious review will be spending the holiday with the singer.PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There’s a place set at Patti LaBelle’s Thanksgiving table for the man whose video went viral and made her sweet potato pie a hit online and in stores.

*Ahh yes, she said she was gonna do right by James Wright Chanel, the YouTube/Facebook sensation and invite him over for Thanksgiving dinner and Patti Labelle did just that.A simple YouTube video posted by a fan of R&B singer Patti LaBelle has emerged as a kind of holy grail of Internet marketing: Social media user independently sees product, makes an online video about it, and sales take off.

Many stores feature special sales during abbreviated hours during the holiday, but Patti’s Pies, as they’ve come to be known on social media, are nowhere in sight. James of course shot to social media stardom and Patti’s pies went to sales heaven, so to speak, after his now famous video touting the goodness of her Walmart distributed goodies went viral. “Most People Just Bless The Food. If you’ve tried to buy one and Walmart was sold-out, don’t panic: the retailer has secured an additional two million pounds of sweet potatoes so they can re-stock store shelves. The pies are in such high demand, that a “black market” has emerged on sites like Craigslist and eBay, where one pie, which normally sales for $3.99, is going for as high has $40. “He ate the pie and he loved it, and started talking about it,” LaBelle said, “and from his mouth to everyone’s ear, the people who didn’t know about the pie already they knew more about it after James did the wonderful video.” “He’s wonderful,” LaBelle said. “I’m going to help him get a deal with somebody because he needs to be recorded and we’re going to record together, him and I.” Walmart spokesman John Forrest Ales told HLN that, in mid-November, the landing page for LaBelle’s pies was the most-searched-for webpage on Walmart.com, even eclipsing the much-heralded iPad Pro, a major coup for any product given the interest in electronics around the holiday season. “The iPad Pro is normally one of our most searched-for items, but the Patti Pie was No. 1,” he said. “The pies were also the No. 1 trend on the website.” While the pie reportedly had modest sales since its September debut, what Walmart is seeing now is the equivalent of (Internet) gold in a bottle, or in this case a pie shell, according to experts in social media and PR.

While Ales declined to divulge sales figures for the pies, he said that business has been brisk and he sees no sign of it stopping during the Black Friday weekend. “We were selling one pie per second in one 72-hour period after James’ video,” Ales said of Walmart. Stores have signs posted next to empty dessert racks telling customers to check their respective Facebook pages for alert on when the pies would be back in stock.

You can be sure other companies are taking notice, Pallavi Kumar, an assistant professor at American University with more than 20 years in public relations, told HLN. “Marketers are smart — if they see something take off in one sphere, they will see how many more platforms they can launch the same campaign in to get maximum value and ROI,” Kumar said. And it hasn’t been a one-way street: Speaking to HLN’s The Daily Share, Wright said that the recent Internet fame has done a lot for him as well: He got to talk to his idol and has become a star, albeit a small one, in his own right. “She called me the next day — and I almost lost it — you know Patti LaBelle don’t call people randomly,” he said. Kumar said companies are already fast at work on the next social media hit and looking for ways to incorporate it into their brand across other platforms. “The reason why these types of stories i.e., the ‘Patti Pie’ become sensations is because they are all part of an integrated campaign. I didn’t expect a viral video.” “Social media stars exist solely because of the love and adoration they receive from their fans,” Kumar said. “But to keep that level of engagement, they have to deliver to their fans through frequent posts and uploads.”

In the South, where slaves were in charge of white people’s kitchens and, in effect, the development of their palates, pumpkins were gradually replaced with sweet potatoes. Though there is no shortage of talented, accomplished African-American cooks, it’s a challenge to find food products offered by, or even endorsed by, African-Americans on the shelves of a grocery store. We’re not the ones getting rich from flocking to Wal-Mart in droves, but we’re sending a powerful message as consumers: Black dollars can be as valuable as gold.

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