6 Creativity Lessons from the Faux 'Kyle Scheele Meale' Marketing Campaign

I am convinced the most creative individuals aren’t working in marketing and certainly not in a sales position.

If you want to test my theory, join TikTok and start scrolling.

A while back, I wrote about the storytelling prowess and magical voice of Brady LaRock, promoting the need for brands to create content useful and engaging to their audience. Today, I am highlighting a brilliant marketing campaign that started as a joke but caught the attention of major brands due to the creativity of one man.

Kyle Scheele may have just started a massive partnership marketing campaign. The story begins when he walked into a local convenience store and a cardboard cutout of Post Malone was on display.

He asked the clerk, “Hey, can I have that when you guys are done with it?” The clerk’s reply, “Man, I don’t even know where that stuff comes from. Vendors bring it and then it just disappears one day”, leaving Scheele dumbfounded and stimulating his creative juices.

This was the first chapter in a brilliant and hilarious story.

Kyle decided he was going to make his own display and without approval, place it in a popular gas station.

First, he needed a professional photo of himself, so he called his friend who was a photographer to do a photoshoot where Kyle held a pizza shaped guitar.

Next came the graphic design. Using a simple graphic design tool, he added a background and a catchy title.

Finally, he sent the finished design to another friend who worked for a sign-printing company.

And the results are hilarious.

The cutout was a life-size scale of Kyle with an added background and title. The estimated 8-foot sized display turned out to be nothing short of comical, requiring a U-Haul van for transportation.

Kyle picked out a Kum & Go convenience store for his project and delivered the display during one of the busiest times of the day. Upon delivery, he wore a mask so no one would recognize him as the person in the display, and told the clerk, “I’m just going to put this right here.” To which he received a response, “Okay, thank you!”

The faux marketing campaign, titled “The Kyle Scheele Meal” ended up prominently featured in front of the food counter.

The scheme:

Marketing has always been a method for finding effective ways to create loyal brand customers. Even before the rise of digital marketing, advertising made use of bold colors, eye-catching typefaces, and attention-grabbing taglines. Modern technology along with social media, now has the potential to promote brands on a massive scale requiring a more robust and creative approach to a successful marketing campaign.

The key to marketing is to stand out from the crowd and convince your audience to engage with your brand. For better or worse, it’s an online world which means businesses must accept their online presence is their primary presence.

Creativity in marketing has the potential to elevate your business and position your products as solutions by:

  • Capturing attention and connecting on an emotional level

  • Turning negative experiences into new opportunities

  • Create an interesting and engaging workplace

Marketers can learn the functionality of today’s tools to reach wide audience, but to create memorable interactions, creativity and innovation have become more important than ever.

There are many ways to foster creativity, most of which can be found in mundane events. Here is a list of activities and habits where you can get your creativity engine roaring for you and your team.

1. Encourage Bad Ideas

People fear failure, particularly being viewed as having bad ideas. But without bad ideas, the good ones fall through the cracks. Host a brainstorming session, where you or your team create 100 ideas to promote a product. The first few will probably be boring. It’s when you get to the bottom of the list where you reveal creativity.

2. Make Time To Just Think

Time is our most valuable asset and one of our biggest obstacles in the creative process. Screen time limits our ability to think differently. Find a place away from distractions to let your mind wander.

3. Document Your Ideas

We’ve all been there. A phenomenal idea pops in our head but we soon move on to the next mundane task or continue with our everyday activities and it’s soon forgotten. Always have a notepad on you or open your notepad app on your phone. Document every creative idea as soon as it hits you.

4. Seek New Experiences

The desire to learn and see new things is a common trait of creative thinkers. New experiences foster new viewpoints and provide inspiration. Make a point to get out of your comfort zone and enjoy something you haven’t done before.

5. Take Risks

Having the courage to fail helps overcome the fear of sharing new ideas. Risk taking moves in the direction of idea creation.

6. Observe

Observing others’ experiences and behaviors helps us turn the mundane into creative messaging. Sit back, relax, and just watch.

While some of these habits seem contradictory to fostering creativity, it’s clear Kyle Scheele uncovered an untapped, creative marketing campaign opportunity through these unconventional methods.

The results propelled multiple brands into the spotlight in a fun and relatable manner. Thanks to the power of social media, Kum & Go decided to leave the display up because drew in so much customer foot traffic wanting to take a selfie in front of the sign.

When the TikTok blew up, other brands jumped in on the action, including the Denver Nuggets, Adobe, the Dallas Stars, and Uno. TikTok even started a petition to get Kyle his own meal. Then out of nowhere, Red bull, perhaps one of the best creative marketing brands in the world, popped in the conversation implying “it isn’t even a meal without a drink”.

The conversations started online have now progressed to offline conversations between Kyle and executives at both Kum & Go and Red bull. The new meal is now “The Kyle Scheele Meale”, consisting of two pieces of pizza smashed face to face and a 12 oz Red bull for five dollars.

Perhaps the most amazing part of this entire story includes the monetary donation from each meal to the No Kid Hungry charity.

Results and impact update on this amazing story:

The digital marketing evolution has taught us many lessons but the one stands out to me. The best content creators aren’t traditional marketers.

The next time you are in a creative content rut, remember the best ideas are sometimes the craziest. Go for it!