Updated: Jun 22
BLD Bar is set to revolutionize the energy bar market in Spring 2023. Find out more about their savory, gluten-free energy bars, their brand story, and their edgy ad campaign with Perk Copywriting.
When you get hired to write a commercial for a brand new product, you say yes. When that product might legitimately change an industry — you get very excited.
Such was the case when BLD Bar (pronounced “Build Bar”) approached us to write a funny ad script for their upcoming re-launch. The more we learned about BLD Bar’s business model, product range and backstory, the more we fell for their mission.
The best brand stories always begin with an owner facing — and solving — a real problem. For BLD Bar, it’s the story of how one man’s sudden health crisis caused him to lead an energy bar revolution.
The problem with energy bars
Anish Vanmali was the healthiest person he knew — until he wasn’t.
An unexpected brush with Lyme disease attacked Anish’s stomach and left him underweight, malnourished and seeking answers. Doctors advised him to cut sugar and gluten out of his diet, which alleviated many of his symptoms.
As Anish recovered, he craved the chance to get back to the gym. But as he entered the familiar energy bar aisle of his local grocery store, he was faced with a problem he hadn’t realized before.
Every energy bar in the aisle was full of sugar and gluten, and he couldn’t eat them anymore.
And Anish knew he wasn't alone.
BLD Bar: the savory energy bar solution
“Everything was like a sugar bomb,” Anish explained. “It was all these dessert flavors, vanilla and cookie dough and mint chocolate.”
Anish wondered why there weren’t any energy bars without all the sugar and gluten packed into them. A visit to several other stores confirmed the issue.
In this moment, Anish did not see a problem. He saw the chance to provide an answer.
BLD Bar offers a line of savory energy bars with less sugar and zero gluten. BLD Bar trades in the dessert flavors for unique new options like Margarita Lime, Smoky BBQ and Everything Bagel.
The reviews? Based on its 2022 trial launch, BLD Bar is a hit. As a result, BLD Bar scaled up for a Spring 2023 re-launch and hired Perk Copywriting to help with its advertising campaign.
We interview BLD Bar’s founder Anish Vanmali earlier this week to discuss his brand, his content marketing inspirations, and the future of BLD Bar.
Q&A with Anish Vanmali, BLD Bar founder
We got a chance to chat with Anish for a few minutes in the weeks leading up to the 2023 BLD Bar re-launch. Check out with the energy bar innovator and BLD Bar founder thinks about content strategy, dark humor in advertising, and the value of personal experience.
Patrick @ Perk Copywriting (Perk): I'm always fascinated by the "a-ha" moment, when someone realizes there's a gap in the market they can fill. What was your "a-ha" moment about BLD Bar?
Anish Vanmali (AV): As I started recovering from Lyme disease, my diet had to change. I was looking for things with lower sugar, less gluten. When I was working out again I went to the grocery store, all the energy bars are the same dessert flavors loaded with sugar. So I had my a-ha moment in the grocery store. I wondered, "Why isn't there an energy bar out there that’s savory and lighter on the sugar?”
Perk: How did you go from the “light bulb moment” to actually making it happen?
AV: I didn't know if I could do it, so I went home and experimented with ingredients from the grocery store. I whipped up the first prototype and went from there.
Perk: Oh, so you’re pretty handy in the kitchen!
AV: I've worked a lot in the restaurant industry since college, I come from an Indian background so the cooking is, you know, amazing. I've always been a foodie, I love eating at good restaurants. I try to recreate the meals while cooking at home. It was already a part of my lifestyle.
Perk: I love a lot of your style and branding choices, from your sleek packaging to your website. What brands and brand strategies do you love?
AV: The Wendy's Twitter account. They would just go off and roast people. So many impressions, so many likes, so funny. It's still done in a comedic way, as entertainment. It was insulting without being malicious, very tongue-in-cheek. Dark humor as a form of marketing - whoever was in charge of their social media was just killing it.
Perk: Are there any brands out there now that fit that mold for you?
AV: Ryanair. They're a more budget airline, except they play up to it and own up to it. They do a lot of memes, self deprecating humor, they're very new age with it. They roast people, they roast themselves. Instead of being more about flying, it's more about a lifestyle company. You're getting content, you're getting entertained.
"I wondered, 'Why isn't there an energy bar out there that's savory and lighter on the sugar?" -- Anish Vanmali, BLD Bar
Perk: We put together a pretty entertaining commercial ad script, if I do say so myself.
AV: I loved how collaborative our commercial script was, bouncing ideas, video chat, back and forth.
Perk: Well I was leading to another question, but I'll always stop for a little ego boost. Thanks! Anyway — what do you think makes a good commercial?
AV: It's not the look, it's the ability to create something new and worthy of views. Some form of video content that hasn't really been done before. The Coinstar “screen saver” ad from the Super Bowl is a great example. It’s all about getting that reaction, that engagement.
Perk: Agreed! Nothing beats great feedback from a customer. What's been your most rewarding piece of feedback — the one comment that keeps you going?
AV: In the early days of BLD Bar, I used to have a booth at the farmer's market. This local mom and her kid would walk there every day. When the farmer's market stopped due to COVID, she emailed me. The kids loved the bars, and they couldn’t wait until they came back. I was so happy to hear that, and I sent them a few.
Perk: That’s the best. Feedback is so much more sincere from kids (and parents).
AV: You're providing a snack to kids that's not sugary and good for them. It's cool to hear from kids that they like it. No filter, they can't lie to you.
Perk: BLD Bars are going back on the market. What's been different this time around?
AV: I would have to say a mix of the things I've learned in the past couple years. It was a brand new industry for me then, but it isn’t now. Using that knowledge and the relationships I've built — it's made the re-launch a lot smoother than the first launch. The timing, the pacing, how to price everything, is much easier this go around.
Check out the official BLD Bar website for product information and how to order BLD Bars for yourself! And keep an eye out for the BLD Bar ad campaign written by Perk Copywriting!
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