Mentos turns OOH effort into a daunting challenge for 1 college student
- Mentos placed a tough-to-win challenge on incoming University of Wisconsin-Madison freshman Sam Jeschke, who is tasked with distributing 43,000 bottles of Mentos branded gum before the first day of class on September 6 in order to secure a free DJ Khaled concert on the campus along with a free year of tuition, per a press release.
- To put the challenge into perspective, Jeschke will need to distribute 7,166 bottles of Mentos Gum per day, 298 bottles per hour and five bottles per minute to meet the goal. To aid Jeschke, the effort has a hashtag — #SamHasMentosGum — and a 26-foot truck full of gum. The 43,000 figure was chosen because it represents the number of students at UW.
- The overall campaign asks people to visit the microsite, SamHasMentosGum.com, to offer Jeschke advice and enter for a VIP package to the DJ Khaled concert on the campus this fall. The website includes online content and a countdown of the bottles Jeschke has distributed along with a map showing where he is during the challenge. Social media influencer Sara Hopkins will document the challenge on Snapchat.
It's been a summer filled with innovative out-of-home (OOH) activations and Mentos is tossing its hat into the ring with an effort that leans heavily on social media to target college students and drive viral support for a classmate. In this sense, the effort is reminiscent of the #NuggetsforCarter hashtag that went viral earlier this year after a teen asked Wendy's how many retweets he would need to earn free nuggets for a year and a record number of Twitter users retweeted his message. However, a key difference in the Mentos effort is that it originates with the brand instead coming organically from a customer. With younger consumers putting a premium on authenticity, the Mentos effort could end up coming across as contrived as the free concert “payoff” is pre-determined and the trial itself is an almost impossible task.
Mentos will get a TV boost as the title sponsor of the University of Wisconsin football team’s televised season-opener on Friday, September 1, when #SamHasMentosGum will take over a raucous Camp Randall Stadium at the game televised on ESPN, according to the press release.
OOH activations are popular with marketers because of the opportunity to create wholly owned interactive brand experiences, David Krupp, CEO of Kinetic North America, previously told Marketing Dive. The trend is likely to continue as brands look for ways to deliver unique and authentic engagements.