- Vita Coco is running a snail-mail campaign that lets people send coconut greetings to friends or family, the company said in an email to Marketing Dive. A limited supply of Coconote packages each hold a brown coconut, carton of Vita Coco water and note that consumers can personalize before shipping through the U.S. Postal Service for $5.
- The Coconotes stunt was timed to World Coconut Day (Sept. 2) and arrived the same day as Vita Coco named activist, model and UNICEF ambassador Halima Aden as the company's first chief coconut officer. She will serve as spokesperson for the Vita Coco Project that drives the brand's social impact initiative around supporting coconut farming communities in Sri Lanka and the Philippines. For every Coconote sent, the company will donate a coconut seedling to a farmer in the region.
- Three golden Coconotes will be randomly distributed among the orders, and winners will receive a year's supply of the brand's drinks.
A post office in Moloka'i, Hawaii, lets customers send a stamped coconut home in lieu of a postcard, setting off the inspiration for Vita Coco's latest snail-mail campaign, according to Senior Brand Director Allison Finazzo.
The lighthearted effort could break through ad clutter by spreading goodwill, helping to associate the beverage brand with positivity during a tough year. Marketers are just recently returning to non-coronavirus messaging, but limitations like shuttered studios, reduced travel and local safety requirements remain key challenges to producing fresh content regularly. Vita Coco is taking a different route by bundling its product, a coconut and greeting from a loved one into a tangible brand experience delivered to consumers' doors. The concept could resonate with people feeling fatigued by screens and the wave of digital experiences that have cropped up during the pandemic.
"People are becoming exhausted of endless virtual meetings, happy hours, weddings, and are craving real, human connection and experiences. So, we thought mailing custom Coconotes would be an awesome way to break up the monotony and give someone a fun, unexpected way to show a friend, family member, crush, that you're thinking of them," Finazzo said.
Tying Coconotes to a cause-driven initiative amplifies the campaign through real action, something consumers are increasingly expecting of brands they buy from. Countless marketers in recent months have announced company-wide initiatives or external pledges to organizations tackling social and environmental issues. Brands that position themselves as cause-driven must go beyond making simple donations or running a one-time ad campaign and demonstrate how the company deeply cares about an issue and understands its nuances, according to a recent article in Harvard Business Review.
Coconotes is the first effort within an advertising campaign that this month will hit outdoor and digital media in New York and Los Angeles, according to Finazzo.
"We really wanted to go back to the basics and reinforce why people drink Vita Coco in the first place, and illustrate what's possible when you do," she said.
This week's stunt lines up with Vita Coco's history of eccentric marketing tactics. Last year, it dared some of the harshest product reviewers online to try its new coconut water — a polarizing flavor for many people — that turned into a heated Twitter exchange about the drink "tasting like piss." The brand then had several of those naysayers star in its first ads for the new drink.