Get paid to drink Pepsi (and eat Fritos)…

Pepsi is launching a PepCoin loyalty program that rewards you for buying both a single-serve beverage and a Frito-Lay snack by sending money to PayPal and Venmo accounts. If you scan enough codes on bottles and bags, you’ll receive a little bit of cash. You’ll have to earn $2 before it goes to your account, but this is real spending money.

How it works:

  • Buy a PepsiCo beverage and Frito-Lay snack.
  • Scan the codes on the bag and under the bottle cap with your phone.
  • Link the program to your PayPal or Venmo.
  • Once you accumulate $2, the money automatically transfers to your account with Venmo or PayPal.

It’s not a dollar for dollar point system, each transaction earns a person about 37 cents. So, like, 5.4 purchases.

Why it’s hot: Companies with multiple brands are increasingly using loyalty programs as a vehicle to sell across their portfolio and drive awareness of the many different products within it. With the exception of credit and debit cards, that apply cash back as a credit to your account, cash back incentives in the form of actual cash have yet to be tested (as far as I could tell). Truly successful loyalty programs thrive on creating engaging experiences and emotional connections with their consumers — it’ll be interesting to see whether Pepcoin will be able to establish a true connection with customers, past the initial shock and enroll stage and whether it’ll change how loyalty and rewards programs provide benefits to consumers in the future.

Sources: Engadget, Thrillist, MediaPostPYMNTS.com, Pepcoin, Pepsi press release

Soap lathering up social good

BECỌ, a social enterprise that makes environmentally-friendly toiletries, is asking businesses to hire more job applicants with disabilities.

Around 80% of BECỌ employees are either visually impaired or physically disadvantaged. However, according to the brand, 1.1 million disabled people are still struggling to find work in the UK.

To address this problem and incite change, BECỌ created the campaign #StealOurStaff that launched earlier this month. The brand turned the packaging of its soap products into resumes. Each soap box and label showcases the name, job role, skills and headshot of one of its employees accompanied with the hashtag #StealOurStaff. The products are currently available for purchase in Boots, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose – three major UK retailers.

BECỌ also also wrote an open letter that challenged employers to take a stand and change attitudes about hiring people with disabilities.

To promote the campaign, BECỌ created a video featuring its employees talking about their jobs. The video humorously lampooned traditional TV audio descriptions in ads.

Why it’s Hot:

This campaign is a win for the brand on all fronts: they’re able to sell product while touting their company’s core belief (plus, customers get to feel good by supporting them and buying). At a time when brands are trying to show customers they care, BECO is doing more than just talking about social good – social good is build into the fiber of their company.

Source

Drink beer + shoot virtual deer = help protect wildlife

A great deal of funding for wildlife conservation in the US comes from fishing and hunting permits, but the number of people buying them is declining. It seems fewer members of the younger generations are interested in actually packing out into the woods and sitting in a tree in silence for hours in order to bag an elk for the winter. But what Busch understood was what those younger generations are still interested in is drinking beer at bars and pretending to hunt elk on an arcade screen.

So Busch (Anheuser-Busch) teamed up with the Big Buck Hunter arcade game to sell $5 virtual hunting permits that give buyers access to a secret (branded) level within the barroom game. The funds from the permits (matched by Busch) will go to wildlife conservation. Busch has positioned itself as a beer brand for those close to, and interested in protecting nature, so this campaign is an on-brand extension of that premise.

Alongside the permit sales, Busch is selling limited edition cans through December, with QR codes that give access to a similar AR hunting game on one’s phone.

The campaign just began, so it remains to be seen if it will actually generate a noteworthy amount of conservation funding. At the very least it should raise some awareness and brand recognition for Busch with the younger set.

Why it’s hot:

Sometimes the best way to get people to act for an important cause is to tap into their habits, desires, and interests, and make it fun, rather than appealing to an abstract sense of duty, which many people can easily dismiss as: “Not my problem”.

Also, everybody wins:

  1. Busch probably sells more beer with the curiosity created by the can design and offer of an AR game + gets a CSR halo.
  2. Big Buck Hunter gets more players and press, framing itself as more than just a late-night afterthought.
  3. Awareness and money gets raised for wildlife conservation at a time when it’s desperately needed.

Source: Fast Company

One Brand’s Trash is Another’s Treasure

To align with Columbus Day, Astral Tequila presented “Columbus Day: A Reenactment,” an ad starring Jonathan Goldsmith, the Artist Formerly Known as the Most Interesting Man in the World.

 

At the end of the video, Goldsmith breaks the fourth wall to address us, the viewing audience, directly: “That is pretty much how it happened.” Cue a close-up of a bottle of Astral Tequila and, on-screen, “Happy Columbus Day.”

To say that Columbus’ legacy is complicated is a vast understatement.

When you touch upon this realm, there’s sure to be backlash, but they’re not taking sides, they’re making light of what we know as the facts: An explorer set out for India and landed in a new world, one already inhabited albeit, although he claimed to have found it.

“Our spot is simply lampooning Christopher Columbus’ journey,” says Astral VP-Marketing Joen Choe in a statement provided by Erich and Kallman, the agency of record for the Davos Brands tequila. Choe added that Columbus “set out for India, but bumped into America instead. We are certainly not making light of any historical events.”

Why Its Hot:

I’m steering clear of the controversial nature of “Columbus Day” theme and going for what I like most about this spot: re-purposing of a commercial celebrity. It reminds me of the ‘can you hear me now’ guy’s resurrection by Sprint. One brand’s trash is another’s treasure!

Sex Sells

In Colombia, young lovers often resort to stealing moments of intimacy in places where they risk being interrupted (such as a parent’s house, or in a parked car).

To help them get their hot-n-heavy, Condom brand Duo released an app to alert young lovers in Colombia when they risk being caught having sex.

To work, the app requires two mobile phones with cameras. One phone is placed in the area where the interruption is likely to come from and acts like a motion sensor. When someone (or something) disturbs the scene, the first phone sends a message (and an image of the intruder) to the second phone, alerting the lovers and giving them time to compose themselves.

According to Geometry Global, the app attracted 62,262downloads, more than 23,000 monthly active users, and the brand achieved a 23% increase in sales in the fourth quarter of 2016, and a 20% lift in the first quarter of 2017.

Why It’s Hot

  • We’ll its sex related
  • Brand solved a very real pain point for their core audience; young consumers who are likely to live at home and crave privacy

 

Source: https://www.contagious.io/articles/brand-guardian

Brandless is the new brand

This past week the internet was abuzz with news of CPG startup Brandless. Headed by serial entrepreneurs Tina Sharkey and Ido Leffler, Brandless is selling consumer staples like food and healthcare direct to consumers all priced at $3.

“It felt like modern consumption was really broken,” says cofounder and CEO Tina Sharkey. Millennial consumers don’t want to buy their parents’ brands, she argues, and all brands are too expensive, marked up to cover the costs of distribution, warehousing and retail space. By eliminating what she refers to as this “brand tax,” she figured that Brandless could slash the costs of basic packaged consumer goods that people buy regularly, and potentially become a significant player in a $2 trillion market dominated by the likes of P&G and General Mills.

But the biggest difference between Brandless and all the major CPG players is its business model: Rather than sell through traditional retail stores, the company is only offering its goods online. By doing so, the company will have what few of the CPG giants have – a direct relationship with the consumers of its products. It plans to exploit this relationship through a heavy investment in data and by building a sense of community through memberships and philanthropy (with every purchase, the company will donate to Feeding America).

https://techcrunch.com/2017/07/11/brandless/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/amyfeldman/2017/07/11/brandless-hopes-to-shake-up-consumer-products-with-direct-to-consumer-basics-for-3/#694a312e3906

Why It’s Hot

Move over Warby Parker, Casper and the rest. You’re not the only ones willing to take on the big boys.

And rather than relying on product brands, there’s just one brand in this game to promote – and it’s Brandless.

As if though we need one more excuse to drink…

While the world collapses around us here in the States, New Zealanders are kicking back, enjoying life, and catching some surf. Right? Wrong. They are dealing with their own set of problems too. A sand drought (gasp!). Apparently, those pesky grains you keep finding in random body parts days after going to the beach are used in everything from construction to pharmaceuticals (weird). The demand is such that two-thirds of the world’s beaches are retreating.

DB Export, a Kiwi Brewery, took note of this, and the fact that one-fourth of beer bottles never make it to recycling centers and instead end up in landfills. The result? They rolled up their social-responsibility-sleeves and said “We got this”.  The brand developed a fleet of Beer Bottle Sand Machines that lets drinkers instantly turn their beer bottles into 200 grams of sand substitute in just 5 seconds, which will later be donated to one of New Zealand’s biggest producers of bagged concrete.

And how valuable is doing something good, if no one sees it, right? Which is why drinkers can also document and share the footage of their environmentally-friendly activity thanks to an in-built web camera.

It’s rare when a brand can triangulate efforts that solve an environmental challenge by increasing their product’s consumption. It’s even rarer to have it be done through such an out-of-the-box-use of tech.

Now, if we could only develop tech that puts Donald Trump to sleep for an hour for every beer bottle that is drunk…Something to work towards, People!

Why It’s Hot

  • It’s SO smart to line up brand engagement and consumption with a noteworthy social cause
  • DB Export was able to connect seemingly unrelated topics (sand drought and beers) to solve a brand and a social challenge
  • Activation enables consumers to feel good, and do good, just by drinking a cold one

 

 

Crunch Responsibly

Tostitos partnered with Uber and Mothers Against Drunk Driving to develop a limited-edition bag that acts as a breathalyser. When alcohol is detected, red LEDs on the packet light up with the message ‘Don’t Drink and Drive’. To further help the unfortunate, or fortunate 😉 , drunkard the bag is NFC enabled so they can order an Uber by just tapping the bag.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3w26ymG7xYU

Why It’s Hot:

  • Breaks through the Super Bowl advertising clutter by leveraging tech in an innovative way
  • It’s not technology for the sake of technology – it addresses a consumer need
  • Execution reinforces Tostitos’ “Party Bag” positioning within a very relevant consumption moment

 

Talenti Uses Social Posts To Create Personal Flavors

Unilever brand Talenti Gelato is generating personalized flavor concepts for fans by analyzing their social posts.

Consumers are being encouraged to visit the campaign’s “Flavorize Me” site by August 22 to elect to have an algorithm connect to their Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts.

The algorithm analyzes commonly used words and hashtags to create personality/flavor profiles for each user that specify percentages of sweet, spicy and salty, and to generate a list of ingredients that fits with each profile.

Each ingredients combo in turn generates an ideal, not-in-existence personalized flavor. Given that there are hundreds of available ingredients, there are about 50 million potential flavor combinations, according to the brand.

Talenti

Examples of flavors generated so far, displayed on the Flavorize Me site, include Honey Allspice Nectarine, Marmalade Cabernet Peanut Butter Cup, Ebelskiver Biscuit Mint, Gingerbread Loganberry Malbec, and English Trifle Peanut Butter Cup Lavender.

 

Why this is hot?

It’s more than product customization; it’s your personal brand! It starts with consumer data, followed by a thorough analysis (algorithms included) that deliver not just flavors, but an insightful picture of where consumers’ tastes are going. And it ends beautifully with a personalized product that takes the brand to a real next level: less about the “brand” and more about the consumer.

Edible Billboards: Why not have billboards with built-in samples?

At the NCAA men’s Final Four in Indianapolis, Coke Zero built a 4,500-foot straw that dispensed Coke Zero from a billboard. The straw spelled out the words “Taste It,” and had six fountains that dispensed the soda (watch video here).

In East London, Carlsberg beer created a similar experience with a beer-dispensing billboard.

And Mr. Kipling, a large-scale British company that supplies baked goods to stores, built a billboard made entirely of cake and icing. Sugar artist Michelle Wibowo created the billboard using more than 13,000 pieces of cake. The cake, with the tagline “Life is better with cake,” was distributed to passersby (watch video here).

Read more here (Edible billboards are a real thing, and these are made of beer and cake).

Why It’s HOT

The problem with food ads is that you can only see the product, but you can’t smell or taste it. Here is a great example of how an old medium can be used in new ways – creating disruption and driving conversation.

Missed opportunity: social amplification.  In 2011, a German billboard dispenses dog food when you checked in on Foursquare– Read more here (video case study available).

 

 

 

Marketers Push Nighttime Products to Awaken Growth

It seems like Marketers are getting sleepy across the nation.

In a push to expand usage and therefore sales, more brands are pushing nighttime versions of such things as makeup removers and laundry detergents that once seemed to work equally well any time of day.

In fact, the percentage of new household products that either had nighttime versions or mention “sleep” or “dreams” more than doubled to 3.5% in the 12 months ended this May vs. 1.6% the prior 12 months, according to Datamonitor.

America's Most Common Health Concerns

 

They’re coming from marketers like Procter & Gamble Co., which first addressed America’s growing need for sleep with the successful 2012 launch of ZzzQuil sleep aids. The company followed that up last year with a Febreze Sleep Serenity line of nighttime “bedding refreshers” in such scents as “Warm Milk and Honey.”

Johnson & Johnson was way ahead of the trend with lavender-scented Neutrogena Night Calming Makeup Remover Towelettes, now on their fourth straight year of double-digit sales growth. That’s not bad in a growth-starved household and personal-care market that’s seen sales rise only 1% the past year.

Why It’s Hot

Marketers are no strangers to trying new dayparts to jumpstart growth (e.g.: Waffle Taco), and this is yet another instance of consumer healthcare being relevant to marketers.Night Calming wipes are one of the top 10 cleansing products overall at mass and No. 3 among wipes – so these products are doing well.

But nighttime consumer packaged goods products address a real sleep problem that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control calls a “public health epidemic” affecting 50 million to 70 million adults.

Sleeplessness is driven by two other major trends – an aging population and rising use of technology. Numerous studies link aging to more insomnia. One study found that only 20% or fewer adults over 65 rarely or never report sleep problems. Yet a 2011 study by the National Sleep Foundation reported that teens actually exhibited the most signs of “sleepiness” of any age group. A follow-up NSF poll this year concluded that teens who leave their electronic devices on at night get an average of a half-hour less sleep on school nights (7.2 hours) than teens who turn them off at night (7.7 hours).

One company has hooked onto this trend in a positive way: P&G, in response, has promoted a “Tuck In. Turn Off.” pledge urging people to shut down devices a half-hour before bed – and use their scented products. It only highlights a growing trend where the consumer goods and wellness industries continue to cross-over.

Weather-Triggered Marketing: Using Weather.com to go Beyond Weather.com

pollen

For years, brands have leveraged weather-triggered targeting that is offered by Weather.com, WeatherBug, AccuWeather and a host of other weather websites, to reach prospects during a window of great opportunity: Progresso on a rainy day. Quaker for a cold morning. Zyrtec when the pollen count is high. Nivea sunscreen when the UV rays are in full force.

Now, Weather.com has signed a (non-exclusive) agreement with MindShare to provide data directly, to be used to inform marketing across channels, versus allow use of their data only when advertising in Weather.com channels.

Why It’s Hot: As mentioned in prior posts, agency and publisher offerings are evolving to include better mobile advertising opportunities, collaborative publishing and here, data purchase and usage. Competitive pursuit of these new opportunities requires organizational change, training and investment in people with the right skill sets. Companies must carefully consider the potential contributions to their clients’ businesses, the opportunity for scale and whether opportunities are a fit with their core capabilities, to focus on the right opportunities and develop them into meaningful solutions and revenue streams. Very exciting times for marketers, agencies and publishers!