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How Mondel?z thinks big, acts small on mobile

Two recent efforts from Mondel?z demonstrate how the CPG brand is narrowing in on niche mobile strategies as part of a growing digital focus.

The CPG brand is launching what claims to be its biggest multi-brand campaign as part of a sponsorship of the United States soccer team in the upcoming FIFA World Cup, with mobile playing a key role in segmenting out small groups of tech-savvy teens. At the same time, Mondel?z is also testing a new program that pairs up brands with agencies for short-lived and small campaigns.

"We made the strategic decision to focus our #PassTheLove campaign heavily around mobile, digital and social media activations because it ladders up to our broader business strategy to engage consumers the way they consume media, which increasingly happens through those channels," said Stephen Chriss, senior director of North America consumer engagement and marketing services at Mondel?z, Deerfield, IL.

"Additionally, our snack brands are great for on-the-go occasions, and connecting with consumers via mobile gives us opportunities to engage them about #PassTheLove with contextually-relevant content whether they?re watching soccer at home, going to games or playing themselves," he said.

Gearing up for mobile
Team players from the U.S. soccer team ? including Omar Gonzales, Alex Morgan and Clint Dempsey ? will be integrated into Mondel?z's #PassTheLove World Cup campaign, which spans mobile, social and point-of-sale.

A mobile game within the Kik application launching in May will let consumers compete in virtual penalty kicks as some of the soccer stars. Upgrades to the game are found on more than two million on-pack codes of Oreo, Ritz and Honey Maid products.

The in-app game highlights the marketing growth of messaging apps as more brands look to connect with teenagers and millennials who are sharing content with their friends consistently within niche apps. 

Calls-to-action promoting the #PassTheLove hashtag will appear on more than 40 million packages and 17,000 in-store displays. According to Mondel?z, the hashtag will be used for instant giveaways and as a hub for consumers to talk about why they love soccer during the games.

Other components to the campaign include a nationwide tour and events and digital advertising.

Mondel?z has run other multi-brand mobile campaigns in the past, including one last summer with an augmented reality app as part of a sponsorship with musical group One Direction (see story)

While last year?s campaign was more focused on targeting a wide group of consumers through a mobile app, this year?s campaign is a bit different since it uses the medium to target smaller groups of mobile users in messaging apps and on Twitter.

As more millennial-focused advertisers hone in on niche apps to connect with consumers, bundling several brands into campaigns could be effective for CPG brands for cross-brand promotions.

?Building a single experience ? say an app for example ? that can promote multiple brands provides tremendous cost savings, but that strategy only works if personalization can help that experience overcome problems promoting competitive brands,? said Jeremy Jacobs, associate director of strategy at Resource, Columbus, OH.

?But using the power of mobile and the flexible nature of native and hybrid apps or segmented SMS, they can return significant cost savings over brands executing these strategies in isolation,? he said.

Mr. Jacobs is not affiliated with Mondel?z. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

Betting on mobile
At the same time that Mondel?z is launching its #PassTheLove campaign, the CPG giant is also testing a new program called Project Sprout that pairs up brands and agencies to work together on short-term campaigns.

The idea is to move away from the traditional agency of record marketing approach so that the company?s brands can quickly test different initiatives. The approach is similar to Mondel?z?s launch of a program called Mobile Futures last year that paired a handful of brands with start-ups to innovate in the mobile space.

?CPG marketing is definitely trending toward a medium agnostic view of how to best serve the consumer, but leaning toward digital for the sake of efficiency and effectiveness,? said Gib Bassett, global program director for consumer goods at Teradata, Dayton, OH.

?For innovative CPG companies this is taking the form of ?digital back? strategies where they look at how digital channels best serve brand marketing requirements, then consider how more traditional marketing methods can complement them,? he said. ?The mobile channel is the right lens to view this opportunity through given consumer adoption of smartphones and tablets.

?The fact [that] Mondel?z is looking to execute across channels, from social to the point of sale, illustrates a focus on the path to purchase. That?s definitely becoming best practice.?

Further emphasizing its goal to work with multiple advertising partners, Mondel?z also signed a deal with Facebook in March to work closer with the social media giant and gain access to new ad formats (see story). 

One of the components to the Project Sprout program is a campaign for Trident that is running in Toronto with Japanese fashion designer Kunihiko Morinaga. Mr. Morinaga has a line of clothes that disable mobile devices when consumers place a device into a pocket.

The Trident commercial

The clothes are incorporated into a Trident campaign that urges consumers to de-plug from everyday life while chewing a piece of gum.

Gum and other small point-of-sale items are a big focus for Mondel?z since more consumers are glued to their mobile devices while at the cash register.

In fact, point-of-sale programs from Trident and Stride are two of Mondel?z?s weightier priorities for the second year of its Mobile Futures program (see story). 

?Mobile is critical in driving multi-brand strategies,? said Chuck Moxley, chief marketing officer at 4Info, San Mateo, CA.

?The ability to target mobile advertising based on purchase behavior and measure the result of this precision messaging enables companies like Mondel?z to grow specific brands without wasting dollars on the wrong audiences, or accidently competing against themselves,? he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York