Strange Currencies: Monetizing Bacon, LiterallySeptember 17th, 2012
Is it a bad sign for the strength of the US Dollar that a meat company is marketing bacon as an alternative currency? Oscar Mayer is doing just that, albeit somewhat jokingly, with their new promotional campaign at BaconBarter.com.
As seen in the above video, comedic actor Josh Sankey has teamed up with the meat manufacturer to promote their new Butcher Thick Cut bacon by traveling cross-country using only bacon as a form of barter currency. Equipped with almost 1.5 tons of chilled bacon in a refrigerated trailer, Sankey has been bouncing from town to town, meeting up with followers from the campaign’s Twitter account, and trading bacon for a wide variety of goods and services.
What Can Be Bought with Bacon As Money?
Sankey’s quest to party like a rockstar across the US using only bacon as currency has been surprisingly successful. He’s secured cab rides, fuel, and places to crash each evening (including unique locations like a Chicago firehouse). Other adventures provided opportunities to trade his meaty currency for Jets tickets, a tattoo, and moonshine. He has been inundated with offers from bacon lovers in each town.
While Sankey’s bacon enjoys a distinct value increase courtesy of the marketing dollars spent by Oscar Mayer and the publicity associated with the transaction, he has had no difficulty using this popular meat to acquire all the necessary tools for a cross-country adventure. In a time when real-world fiat currencies are being held together by crazy, unsustainable gimmicks by central banks, this is an interesting thought experiment.
In Economic Emergencies, Some Goods Can Become Currencies
Lots of people collect canned goods, dehydrated foods, gold, and silver in the event of an economic collapse which is so severe that the currency crashes, rolling blackouts occur, or the local supply chain fails. In all of these situations, such preparation could significantly improve one’s chance of survival.
However, in the days shortly after a full-scale supply chain collapse, lots of odd goods could become currencies given availability. Bacon would be an unlikely option, as it would have to be either refrigerated or preserved to keep it from spoiling quickly, but if someone had an excessive quantity of it stored, it could act as one temporarily.
Two barter goods which are more likely to act like a currency in a severe economic crisis are alcohol and tobacco. Both are needed by a wide range of people, can be divided up into very small amounts, and last a long time. When the supply chain fails, existing products temporarily act like rare commodities until the market is able to import products from elsewhere again.
If an economic worst-case-scenario occurred, a closet full of rolling tobacco, cigarette papers, and whiskey could be used to trade for food and other goods for quite some time. A freezer full of bacon could also trade for great stuff, but its ability to be exchanged for other goods by the recipient would be limited in comparison to rolled cigarettes. Someone could conceivably trade goods for a cigarette, intending to trade the cigarette for something else. That transactional characteristic defines a currency for most people, though the Federal Reserve’s Ben Bernanke assures us that no one knows the definition of “money.”
Visit http://www.SilverCircleMovie.com to learn more about our upcoming 3D animated film!