Yarr and ahoy mateys as on the 10th annual International Talk Like A Pirate Day here's some chocolate and sunshiny news.
What do you get when you mix technology with candy bars? In a cool yet creepy marketing campaign, Nestle plans to stalk UK consumers. The company kicked off a unique promotion called "We will find you" that involves GPS trackers embedded in chocolate bars. When a winning consumer opens the wrapper, it activates and notifies the prize team who promises to track them down within 24 hours to deliver a check for £10,000.
According to York Press, "Inside six lucky packs, there will be a GPS enabled bar which, when the winner pulls the tab, notifies the prize team who will leap into action locating the winner within 24 hours." A Nestle spokesman added that "inside their wrappers, the GPS-enabled bars looked just like normal chocolate bars."
In an additional chocolate-mixed-with-technology promotion, Nestle is tapping the NFC-enabled mobile phone market. An outdoor campaign involves 3,000 posters with NFC and QR codes. Smartphone users scan the code and then are directed to a mobile landing page where people can enter an online competition with 2,000 x £10 prizes. Also on the mobile site will be information about how many of the six GPS-fitted bars are still to be found.
The grand prizes for Nestle's We Will Find You promotion, involve these four chocolate products: KitKat 4 Finger, KitKat Chunky, Aero Peppermint Medium and Yorkie Milk. PSFK said the promotion is "like a real-world Willy Wonka competition," but Branding worth spreading is disappointed that the Nestle promotion has no back story and no magic. "Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory made us dream, while Nestle is simply doing an average promotion using GPS technology that aims to build short-term sales, but doesn't do much for the brand long term."
JWT London showed off this video of Nestle using "cutting edge geolocation technology to track down six lucky winners across the UK and Ireland."
Graham Walker, Nestlé UK's trade communications manager, said, "We believe this promotion will particularly appeal to men, attracting them to the chocolate singles category and thus driving incremental sales." Walker added, "Nestlé Confectionery is delighted to be first to market with this highly innovative GPS based promotion."
While I've not heard of such GPS stalking via candy bars, and I'm sorry to rain on Nestle's chocolate and sunshine parade, this is not the first marketing gone wild via GPS-based promotion. During August 2010, Brazil was the first to take GPS, drop it into a product to stalk you, and take marketing promotions to a whole new creepy yet innovative level.
A company called Unilever added a GPS device to its two-pound box of Omo laundry soap. Then a promotion agency stalked 50 "lucky" shoppers to their front doors. It was further explained in an article titled Is Your Detergent Stalking You?
Fernando Figueiredo, Bullet's president, said the GPS device is activated when a shopper removes the detergent carton from the supermarket shelf. Fifty Omo boxes implanted with GPS devices have been scattered around Brazil, and Mr. Figueiredo has teams in 35 Brazilian cities ready to leap into action when a box is activated. The nearest team can reach the shopper's home "within hours or days," and if they're really close by, "they may get to your house as soon as you do," he said.
Of course, Brazil has a high crime rate, and not everyone is going to open the door to strangers who claim to have been sent by her detergent brand to offer a free video camera. Bullet has thought of that. If the team tracks a consumer to her home but she won't let them in, they can remotely activate a buzzer in the detergent box so that it starts beeping. And if the team takes too long to arrive, and the consumer has already opened the box to see if she's a winner or just do laundry, she'll find, along with the GPS device and less detergent than expected, a note explaining the promotion and a phone number to call.
Instead of six customers winning £10,000 like in the Nestle campaign, 50 Omo winning consumers were awarded a video camera. Omo might not have been as cool since it couldn't be compared to Willie Wonka; but it might have been even more creepy on the privacy invasion scale since winners with GPS-enabled detergent boxes had their pictures as well as a map pinpointing their homes put up on the "Try Something New" website.
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Ms. Smith (not her real name) is a freelance writer and programmer with a special and somewhat personal interest in IT privacy and security issues. Smith has a diverse background in information technology, programming, web development, IT consulting, and information security. She focuses on the unique challenges of maintaining privacy and security, both for individuals and enterprises. She has worked as a journalist and has also penned many technical papers and guides covering various technologies. Smith is herself a self-described privacy and security freak.
Smith is an independent contractor and is not affiliated with any vendor that makes or sells information technology.
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