Crunchy and Cheesy

cheetosTPCRUNCHY NUGGET: I love a fun online, user-experience.  And I just found one reading an article first on ClickZ, and then trying it for myself: it’s from Cheetos and their Project T.P. Put down that bag of salty, snacky cheesy-ness, lick your fingers and give this read:

Glow, baby, glow: How do you make Cheetos relevant to Halloween?  First, change your packaging to feature glow in the dark graphics, and offer them in treat-sized packages.  Doing just this is fun, right?  Oh but there’s more…

Virtual TP opp: Cheetos has a Project TP – as in toilet paper, the verb – site where you can enter in any street address, and if it registers on google (maps, street view), lets you TP the area, thanks to Cheetos mascot Chester (the image in this post is by my community swimming pool).  Of course, you can share the image with friends. Again, fun, easy, really great user experience. But hold on, there’s even more…

Your mission, get social and you can win: Cheetos is also extending the play by giving consumers online missions via social posts. So not just TP’ing your neighborhood, but a fountain or a castle.  Different missions share a variety of places to TP.  Consumers who share their images via Facebook or Twitter fulfilling these missions get entered to win a Cheetos prize pack in a sweeps.  Nice!

Coming ’round full circle, what made me share this example was the fun user experience – it was easy, it was engaging, and it made me smile.  Note that it did NOT ask for my information, it did NOT offer me a coupon.  Missed opportunities?  Perhaps.  But mission accomplished for fun with a little, old school Halloween mischief.  By the way, here is the ClickZ article:

Make Someone Happy

Screen shot 2012-12-21 at 8.31.39 AMFRESH FACTS:  So as I was driving home yesterday night, I was thinking that I need to close up shop on the nuggets, post a cute snowman or something festive, wish everyone well, and pack it in the for the new year.  But oh no…this morning I read a nugget that I wanted to share and get in before I flip the sign around to “Closed…Be back soon.”  It’s about coupons.  I agree and I disagree with this study.  Walk with  me — in a winter wonderland of crunchy goodness (keeping a little holiday’ish mood here)…

Coupons Make People Happy — According to a study conducted by, Dr. Paul J. Zak, Professor of Neuroeconomics at Claremont Graduate University, and shared in this morning’s Center for Media Research (*phew* that’s a lot of credit to give), coupons make people happy physically and emotionally.  Physically:  respiration rates fall, heart rates drop, and oxytocin levels increase (that’s a hormone associated with happiness) when people are given a coupon.  And the oxytocin levels were found in some of the consumers to be higher than kissing, cuddling, and other social interactions that make people physically react and become happy.  Emotionally: 11% of people who received the coupon said they were happier than those who did not.  The study concluded that getting a coupon makes people feel better than getting a gift.  Huh!  Interesting, no?!  Makes you wanna rethink your holiday strategy, right?!  But I have my theories, of course…

Duh, we see this in social — For anyone who works on a Consumer Packaged Good, one of the observations we always see in monitoring social chatter — meaning, looking at what real people share in social spaces like Facebook, Twitter, blogs, forums, etc — is that offers typically cause spikes in social conversations.  People like to post and share offers.    It makes the post-er feel good in giving and doing good. But as we see in the coupon research, it also makes recipients feel good.  Which leads me to my next point…

Coupons shmoopons, it’s about surprise and delight — Here’s where I poke holes in this research.  The study didn’t really give a “coupon” — they gave more of a gift:  a $10 “coupon” during their grocery shopping trip.  That’s a really high value.  Sure, call it a “coupon,” but to make general, sweeping statements in the world of “save $1 on two,” and “50 cents off”?!  Not exactly apples to apples, I think.  Rather, what I think made those people happy was the surprise and delight in the right time, right place context.  So personally, I don’t believe that a coupon is better than a gift, sorry.  I think any offer that is delivered with the elements of surprise and delight would do the same.  It’s why people LOVE free samples.  It’s why people grab free gift bags at an event.  It’s why a great offer in-store is worth talking about (“I got the iPhone4 for only 99 cents!”).  These things feel good, they feel right.  And again, my opinion, it’s why I think the results were as they came up in this study. Something to always consider for my marketing and promotions and brand peeps.  Now…onto the well wishes…

Hoping your holiday also brings you lots of wonderful surprises and delights!  Thanks for reading and see you in the new year!  TASTY TREND:  Here and Now; Feel Good Marketing

Come Fly with Me

FRESH IDEA:  I love when “would it be great if we…” ideas actually come to life. And this is a great example in gaining press buzz.  Delta Airlines is the Official Carrier of the NY Rangers.  The Rangers are currently in the Stanley Cup playoffs with the NJ Devils.  Delta is offering a a free charter flight for select Rangers fans Saturday, May 19th.  The Delta flight departs from LaGuardia, NY for Newark, NJ at 10 a.m. And the flight is going to take all of 17 minutes total.  These fans will then be whisked to the next Rangers/Devils playoffs game in Newark via ground transport.  Indeed, there is a return trip back, too.  In order to qualify, you needed to have:  filled out a form online by yesterday; have tickets to Game 3; and qualify to fly with FAA regulations.  Winners are chosen first come, first served to fill the plane.  And there is an overlay to win two game tickets for next NY Rangers playing season.

Now, what I like about this program is that: it’s just fun PR…no payback, no sales bumps, just press buzz.  And what a great, once in a lifetime opportunity!  For a fan, this is excellent!  Particularly as the NJ Devils had a “no blue” campaign in place for keeping Rangers fans away from their home ice on Saturday.  Nice leverage of a partnership!

Hey, hope your weekend is equally as delightful and lightheartedly fun.  TASTY TREND:  Buzz Baby

Leap It

CRUNCHY NUGGETS:  Happy Leap Day to you!  I’ve got the balloons out in the blog post to make it look festive –nice, right?!  Leave it to marketing folks to turn a unique, once-every-four-years day into a reason to talk about your brand.  I love it!  Here are some of the ideas I’ve seen.  I have not included the numerous free shipping and 29% off deals, nor the creative headlines and subject lines.  Rather, I’ve chosen to focus in on some of the more brand-activating and buzz worthy.  Feel free to save these ideas for the next go ’round in four years…

Many happy returns: Zappos — But anything on on Leap Day and get four years to decide if your merchandise is a keeper.  Zappos typically offers a one-year-365-day return policy, and they are known for excellence in customer service. So nice little PR, service-slant idea/offer.

Pah-leassse…just one more day: Disney — Disney Land and the Magic Kingdom are making families’ dreams come true by keeping the parks open for 24 hours — 6am today until 6am on March 1st.  It’s a nice, feel-good offer that clearly takes a uniquely timed day and makes it more magical.

Happybirthleapyearday:  Outback — With over 1.7 million Facebook fans, Outback has chosen to celebrate one of their fans’ birthdays today — her name is Jenn, she was born on Leap Day, and her picture is now up in their profile shot.  Become a fan of Outback and post a birthday wish to Jenn on the Outback page, and get entered to win one of four, once-a-month Outback celebrations for the next four years with Outback (i.e., until the next Leap Day).  Four years worth of free food once a month!  Nice means of positioning Outback as a monthly-let’s-celebrate destination for consumers.

You can google leap day offers and you’ll see the numerous codes and percentage savings and freebies (including free cookies at Subway, yay free cookies!).  Hope your day is leapin’ good!  TASTY TREND:  Brand Activators, Socially Acceptable

More Pinterest

CRUNCHY NUGGETS:  There’s Pinterest again…being mentioned in the press today with a lil’ 101 tutorial in USA Today:

But alas…today’s post isn’t about belaboring the what’s, how’s and why’s, but rather, the what-now and what-else for Pinterest.  Specifically as it relates to marketing.  Go back with me to yesterday, sit at my desk, and read my Facebook newsfeed.  And a post for Threadless on Pinterest comes across.  It’s a sweeps:  re-pin a specific Threadless t-shirt design on Pinterest (which you can also purchase, by the way), and you may be selected to win the t-shirt.  Now sure, it’s simple, but what makes it so darn crunchy is that as marketers and marketing types try and get a hold on what on earth to do with Pinterest, here is a brand not only using it, but driving additional engagement and interest through the channel.  Sorta like a retweet sweeps.  Helps spread the word about a brand to others through influencers, hopes to gain momentum through an incentive, and is quick and easy for the consumer.  I like it!  I like it a lot!  What struck me was the “duh” factor…in that again, while trying to get a hold on the basics of this site, here is an easy, really good way to do more beyond boards and pins.  May I please also add that Threadless is a big first-to-try brand.  So they’re a really good one to friend/fan/follow/like just to see what they’re up to.  That…and they have super cool tees as chosen by their community.  When promotion meets Pinterest…love it!  TASTY TREND:  Social Curation

All That and…

FRESH IDEA:  …a bag of chips for charity!  You know me, I’ve seen my fair share of promotions and offers and marketing messages.  So when something new and fresh comes my way, it’s a good day!  Food Should Taste Good is the brand I can thank for making my day today, with a really cool twist on trial-advocacy-cause-social-sweeps.  Give this great idea a crunch…

Save. Snack. Support.  Not only has Food Should Taste Good turned their chip packaging pink in support of breast cancer organizations, but they’re raising $100k, too.  Here’s how:

Go to their Facebook page and click on the “Fight Breast Cancer” tab.  Accept an app to send your friends bags of chips for $2.50 each — $2.00 each if you buy 10+ (nice, low price point).  Decide how you wish to divide up the crunchy free goodness:  number of coupons/bags, and through a mailing address or through a Facebook post to the recipient’s wall.  (Yes, you can, and are encouraged to buy/send a coupon for a bag to yourself, too).  Share your information, including purchase details (credit card number, etc.).  Opt in (or not) to hear more from Food Should Taste Good.  And in 4-6 weeks — if you mailed it, your recipient will get a coupon good for a free bag of Food Should Taste Good chips.  Plus, you the giver are entered into a sweeps to win a year’s worth of free chips. too.

Now…some folks may say “But no one wants to give out their friends’ info.”  Here, I think they would  because 1. the friend is getting a “gift”, and 2. 100% — yes, 100% — of the $2.50 (or $2) goes toward a $100k being raised for breast cancer.  Wow…that’s good.  You gotta love a win-win-win-win (consumer, friend, cause, brand) all-round.  This program takes a feel-good and uses it to get passionates/fans to share the love and drive trial among potential new users.  My only complaint comes from the user experience when you’re done buying and sending and entering:  you’re stuck at a dead end.  No link back to Facebook.  No link to the Food Should Taste Good website.

Here’s the URL if you want to send someone a lil’ chip lovin’ and do something good:

Feel free to send one my way on Facebook!  TASTY TREND:  Feeling Good About Doing Good; Experiential Traditional

Social Takeover

CRUNCHY NUGGETS:  I got an email from Sharpie yesterday — love Sharpie markers.  And it told me about a YouTube homepage takeover planned for this Saturday, August 27th.  Basically, anyone, anywhere can submit (upload) a Sharpie-drawn image.  It can be anything…a doodle, a thought, a real drawing, anything.  So long as it was started with Sharpie — playing back their newest campaign (“Start with Sharpie” – ah ha!).  These images will then be streamed this Saturday on YouTube.  Again, anyone who submits gets posted.  You can also view submissions and give them stars, too.

Now, why is this so cool and crunchy?  Because it’s a first of its kind takeover from a brand.  And not only does it bring to life the new campaign, but it does so using its own fans and followers.  So whereas prior campaigns integrated celebs, this one is all about the real-life users.  No matter what your level of artistic skill…go ahead and try (or continue to use) our product, is what is being said.  Very nice invitational feel to drive trial and loyalty.  Very nice means of supporting a brand benefit of self-expression.  Love.  I think I need to draw a heart and submit it.  At the very least, go and check out the submissions.  They’re beyond drawings and into shoes and other creations.  They’ll make you smile.  TASTY TREND:  Here and Now; Socially Acceptable