Poland man earns promo spot

Applebee's beard contest

POLAND, Ohio (WKBN) — A Poland man and his beard have earned a spot in the newest viral marketing campaign for Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill.

Anthony Fontes and his Imperial Partial Beard are known around the world, and this week, he and his facial hair will begin appearing on TV promoting Applebee’s new lower calorie menu.

He said taking part in the contest wasn’t very hard once the ideas started flowing. But, there were some technical issues to work around.

“I said that could be the perfect thing. Take a bite and have the beard snap up. The real hard part was we had to do it in two takes and try to get my face, the fork and everything to come together,” Fontes said. “It was really very fun. The hardest part was not eating my food because the food was really good. Even when I ate it cold, it was really good.”

The Applebee’s campaign #BEE-FAMOUS is the latest example of a company using viral marketing to reach its customer base. This marketing technique is giving companies new opportunities and challenges.

“That’s actually one of the cornerstones of social media, is this idea of collaborating with your audience, collaborating with your customers and this was never before possible, at least on this level. But now with social media, companies are constantly engaging with their fans,” said Youngstown State University communications professor Dr. Adam Earnheardt.

YSU is seeing more demand in the marketplace for workers with social media and viral marketing skills.

To see the viral campaign, visit VineTheBees.com.

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