L.A. based creative advertising agency Battery teamed with animation house Stoopid Buddy Stoodios and actor/comedian Donald Faison to launch a marketing campaign free of charge for Seoul Sausage, a popular L.A. food brand that is struggling to stay open during the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign was developed as part of the Battery initiative “An Idea for L.A.,” which called on local businesses in need of a marketing makeover to apply for help. Battery selected two of the most deserving companies among hundreds of submissions: Seoul Sausage and Rhythms of the Village, an African cultural center in Altadena that has been enriching the L.A .community for over a decade with a focus on African culture and education.
The Seoul Sausage campaign is the first of these pro-bono campaigns to launch. It is a series of short comic spots created by Battery that has debuted online featuring Faison performing hilarious voiceovers as a talking Korean BBQ sausage. Best known for his leading role as Dr. Chris Turk in the ABC/NBC comedy-drama Scrubs, the role of Murray in both the film and TV series Clueless, and most recently as Alex Evans in ABC’s Emergence, Faison also has offered his services pro-bono for the Seoul Sausage project.
Right now, countless mom & pop companies and local independent businesses that are critical to the cultural fabric of Los Angeles are scrambling for survival. More than 90% of L.A. businesses employ fewer than 20 workers. It’s home to more minority and women-owned businesses than any other city in the country. The lucky few who were able to get small business emergency loans under the Paycheck Protection Program cannot spend it on marketing. That’s where “An Idea For L.A.” came in.
“At Battery, we’ve all staked our own careers and livelihoods on the power of creativity to solve big problems,” said Philip Khosid, chief creative officer at Battery. “So we’re stepping up to pay it forward to Seoul Sausage and to the city that gave us the opportunity to build the business of our dreams, with the one thing we know works. Because we get it.”
“The pandemic has thrown up roadblocks for great businesses in so many ways,” said Stoopid Buddy Stoodios co-founder Matthew Senreich. “We were honored to help Seoul Sausage through the Idea For LA program with Battery to get their message of delicious Korean Sausage to the people. Through the help of Donald Faison and our crack Buddy Builds team, we were able to bring the Seoul Sausage to life.”
Winners of The Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race season 3, Seoul Sausage used the prize money to open a brick and mortar Seoul Sausage Company restaurant in Los Angeles’ Sawtelle area. They later expanded to an additional store in Oxnard and a location in L.A.’s Little Tokyo District. Besides their signature KBBQ wieners (The Kalbi Pork and The Sweet and Spicy Chicken), Seoul Sausage became widely known for a new take on a Korean classic, Kimchi Fried Rice (made into deep-fried balls) and for its unique Korean BBQ burger and Korean Fried Chicken. Seoul Sausage later morphed into a large-scale catering outfit.
In March 2020, after coming off of its largest month of revenue, the Kim brothers’ business disappeared due to the Covid 19 pandemic. Seoul Sausage pivoted to an online presence with a food-gifting concept called #foodequalsfamily that promoted families eating together at home by delivering “Korean Essentials” care packages. This ultimately evolved into their current venture: selling their most popular menu items as food delivery kits which overnight made the Seoul Sausage menu available for overnight shipping nationwide.
“This year, 2020, completely wiped us out,” said Yong Kim. “We gave ourselves one month to mope and feel sorry for ourselves. Since then, we have pivoted our business entirely and rather than playing defense, we flipped the switch into offense mode. We’re hungrier than ever and at this point have nothing to lose. Watch out for us.”
Client Seoul Sausage Agency Battery Philip Khosid, chief creative officer; Anson Sowby, CEO; Scott Brown, executive creative director; Joe Sgro, Andy Lam, creative directors; Mike Parseghian, head of brand; Zach Hill, brand director. Production Stoopid Buddy Stoodios Toby Bryan, director, puppet fabricator, art director, puppeteer; Leigh Kelly, producer; Morgan Demeter, DP; Steven Kan, camera operator; Jenny McKibben, editor; Mike Spitzmiller, VFX. Audio MixBoombox Post Color Stephen P. Arkle, colorist.