Marmite has often taken a tongue-in-cheek approach to its divisive product. Long known for its slogan of “You either love it or hate it”, Marmite needed a strategy that delivered a compelling reason to try the brand. And so the Marmite Gene Project was born.
Employing real scientists, Marmite sought to align its brand DNA with actual human DNA. The brand sought to prove that your genetic make-up does, indeed, determine whether you are a marmite lover or hater. At-home Marmite Gene Test kits were made available for families to take the test. And a published scientific white paper generated heated debate among the scientific community which did the job of bolstering the work’s reach. Brand awareness rose from 4% to 12% and year-on-year sales were up 14% across all retailers. It was an exciting piece of work that got scientists talking and, most importantly, the nation sampling.
Pril has always claimed one-drop cleanliness power - long before other washing detergents were doing the same. However, it was losing out to other brands in the UAE with bigger media budgets. While many brands go super-size to gain attention, Pril took the opposite approach. It created tiny 1ml bottles to make the point that you only need a small amount of the detergent to cut through grease.
Pril handed out the mini exact replicas of the bottle at supermarkets across the nation, reaching their target customers at the moment of purchase. It was an effective and novel promotion that uplifted sales after trial. The brand saw a 12% sales increase at the moment of sampling, and a 23% increase the following week. A clean result all-round.
How do you get millennials to switch burger choice when McDonald’s owns the market two to one? You gamify the experience. In a creative-first, tech-enabled activation twist on “try before you buy”, Burger King turned McDonald’s into touchpoints and allowed consumers to buy a Whopper for 1cent that could only be claimed “at” McDonald’s.
The devil was in the detail with this piece of work. BK geofenced 14,000 McDonald’s stores nationwide. If a user was within 600 ft. of a McDonald’s, the BK App unlocked the promotion, and once the order was placed, the app then navigated them to the nearest BK for pickup. This nine-Day promotion saw 1.5 million downloads in the app, ranked #1 on both iOS and Google Play app stores for several days, and garnered $40 million in earned media. Perhaps the most valuable result was the 33% increase in BK’s mobile customer base, which will pay dividends for the company for years to come. Rather than follow the predictable voucher-code route with limited engagement, Burger King did it their own way and it worked a treat.
In another clever media-vehicle hijack, a magazine publisher encouraged trial of a manga magazine by inserting mini manga editions inside cup noodle packaging in convenience stores. It was the perfect promotion for a difficult-to-reach audience of young males during the boring three-minute wait for their snacks.
Shogakukan focused on convenience stores – with large-scale implementation in over 95% of Japan’s 43,000 nationwide stores – the entire project was negotiated with zero media budget. The novelty of the project caught the media’s attention adding bonus coverage to drive reach. This was a novel, cheap and effective strategy built on challenger techniques that other brands could learn a lot from.
Strategists honed in on the insight that girls learn about periods from their mothers. To provide a factual, long-lasting communication tool O.B. created two beautifully illustrated books for mothers and daughters, each with an appropriate tone and style relevant to the particular reader.
The book included a coupon and offered up a sample of the product. 56,000 mothers received the sample, with 50% giving the book to their daughter, and 87% reading it. What’s more, 94% of the daughters kept their book, and 70% of mothers too. It was a brave and inspired move which created a long-life piece of media for a category that often defaults conservatism or cliché.