The Kellogg Company Introduces Special K Crisps to the UK
In his book, “Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping—Updated and Revised for the Internet, the Global Consumer, and Beyond,” (affiliate link) Paco Underhill points out that, “Close to 90 percent of all new grocery products fail, but it isn’t because people didn’t like them—it’s because people never tried them. In my opinion, a new product introduction that doesn’t include a well-funded, fully supported (with marketing) effort to give shoppers samples is not a serious attempt.”
Therefore, it’s not surprising that when introducing its new Special K Cracker Crisps to the UK at the end of last month, the Kellogg Company created a unique marketing campaign that not only gave customers a chance to try the product, but they also incorporated social media into the effort in a way that guaranteed that customers would spread the word about how awesome Special K Cracker Crisps are to their friends online.
Kellogg’s Tweet Shop
The idea was simple: They created a trendy pop-up shop in London’s Soho district that invited customers to get packages of Special K Cracker Crisps in exchange for a tweet that included the hashtag #tweetshop.
As an Ad Age article points out, this is not the first time that a brand has offered free products in exchange for a post on a social networking site. However, the article points out that it might be the first example of real-life interaction using a pay-with-a-tweet-concept.
In the Ad Age article, Dan Glover, creative director of Mischief PR, the agency behind the campaign, is quoted as saying, “We believe that physical and social are one and the same. When we had the idea it felt very simple, and we did a lot of checking to be sure it was a world first. We jumped on that and made it happen – it was eight weeks from idea to execution.”
Not only was this a creative way to get customers to sample a new product, but it also created a lot of buzz in the media, as well.
And, the pay-with-a-tweet concept ensured that people would be spreading the word online.
As Sarah Case, brand manager for Special K, explains, “The value of positive endorsements on social-media sites is beyond compare, so we’re excited to be the first company to literally use social currency instead of financial currency to launch this new product in our bespoke Special K shop.”
Word of Mouth—What Customers Were Tweeting
On Friday, September 28th, I searched for the hashtag #tweetshop. (This, by the way, was the last day that pop-up store was in operation.)
As would be expected, many of the tweets included photos that were posted on other social networking sites.
Some of the tweets included the hashtag #spons.
According to theEword, a search marketing agency located in Manchester, England, “Within the Kellogg’s pop up store, people are given a menu of Tweets to try out, all including #tweetshop #spons. While #tweetshop allows Kellogg’s to monitor the success of its social media campaign, the #spons hashtag ensures that it adheres to regulations put in place by the Advertising Standards Agency, which requires sponsored tweets to be clearly indicated.”
Here are some of examples of the tweets. (Thanks to the Twitter Blackbird Pie WordPress plugin, you can actually click on the links in the tweets to see the photos that customers tweeted.)
Increasing Brand Engagement
The official UK Press Office for the Kellogg Company (@KelloggsUK) also asked Twitterers who were not at the Tweet Shop to tweet using the hashtag #tweetshop for a chance to win some free Special K Cracker Crisps.
By engaging the audience in this way, the Kellogg Company helped increase the awareness of the new product and hopefully got some additional people to purchase them.
As Paco Underhill pointed out in his book, getting people to try a new product is of the utmost importance.
Getting consumers to sample a product and creating a buzz at the same time is a big win.
That’s exactly what the Kellogg Company did when they introduced their Special K Cracker Crisps to the UK in September.
By using a trendy pop-up store in London’s Soho district, the Kellogg Company found a way to get the product into consumers’ hands and, at the same time, get them excited about it.
From the consumers’ perspective, they got some tasty snacks—and it only cost them a tweet.