Mondelez International recently enlisted Tarrytown, NY-based influencer marketing company Ripple Street to host some 256 beach-themed parties at consumer homes aimed at driving trial and awareness of new Sour Patch Kids "Heads" and Swedish Fish "Tails" at Target.
Mondelez teamed with Ripple Street to organize "Beach Bash" house party events on Feb. 22 spotlighting the candies, which began rolling out to retailers last year and launched at Target specifically in January. Each host received a party kit comprising:
- a $5 Target gift card,
- a "Heads & Tails" beach towel,
- 12 Heads & Tails decks of cards,
- 12 Heads & Tails clear beach bags,
- 12 Heads & Tails recipe booklets,
- 12 Heads & Tails beach balls, and
- 12 Heads & Tails bingo games.
About 9,700 consumers applied via ripplestreet.com to host the bright, beach-themed parties, which stemmed from the desire to bring fun and excitement to the winter months with Target shoppers using two fun candy brands, a Ripple Street representative told the Path to Purchase Institute. The campaign kicked off on Jan. 16 with applicants encouraged to discover and take "selfies/shelfies" with the candies in stores. Hosts were selected on Jan. 31 and instructed to invite their party guests and begin to plan, prep and shop for their events. Throughout the application phase and House Party experience, consumers were also encouraged to share photos tagging the retailer via social media platforms Instagram and Twitter.
The parties were part of a 360-degree program at Target that targeted everyday snack or candy purchasers within the retailer's Target Circle loyalty program, and brand purchasers, Jennifer Mason, customer director, shopper marketing at Mondelez International, told the Institute. Beyond the house parties, the program also encompassed a digital offer to Target Circle loyalty program members "to help close conversion," as well as Pinterest, search, and internal and external digital ads via Target's in-house media company Roundel, Mason said. The campaign generated some 22,942 trials and 100,000 social media posts.
The campaign exceeded expectations, according to Mason. "Besides the amazing trials across the Mondelez International portfolio of products with the recipes and [user-generated content] driven by Ripple Street, Roundel results were very strong," she said. "We beat Target’s snacks/candy benchmarks in [click-through rates] for all placements. We exceeded the Pinterest benchmarks as well both in [click-through rates] and social-engagement rates. As a result, we drove single-digit sales growth versus the prior year."
Mason noted candy is a key category at Target, making the mass merchant an optimal partner for this program, "When we partner with them we can hone in on strong targeting capabilities with first-party data to ensure our message is seen/heard with the right [shoppers] to drive results," Mason added.
Since 2014, Mondelez International and Ripple Street have collaborated on immersive, in-home consumer engagement activations, executing more than a dozen campaigns for brands including Ritz Crackers, Oreo Cookies, Sour Patch Kids and Swedish Fish. "This [recent] activation had even more families apply to host one of our parties than others with some of our bigger brands, helping us highlight engagements with shoppers to build brand love [and drive] loyalty and sales at Target," Mason said.