People were lining up for freshly made cookies in Toronto’s east end this week.
While the main strip in the bustling Beaches neighbourhood may host a number of bakeries, this one is serving free, tailor-made mini cookies -- an enticing offer for any passerby with a sweet tooth.
It's part cookie lovers' dream, part interactive marketing tool from Hershey Canada's Chipits chocolate chip brand. The pop-up bakery is the brand's way of reaching consumers outside of traditional advertising channels and connecting with them in a memorable way "rather than a fleeting engagement," Vijiti Dixit, senior marketing manager at Hershey Canada told Canadian Grocer.
"In the past, advertising has been pretty traditional and never a forum to experience the joy Chipits can bring... There's something magical about experiencing fresh cookies," she said. "I can never tell you that in an ad. I can try and capture it with a number of images, but it's something different to experience it."
To create their bag of mini cookies, visitors can select from one of three types of dough, a choice of Chipits flavours and additional toppings. The experience takes about 15 minutes beginning to end (not taking into account the size of the line outside). Or, if they choose, visitors can select from a prefixed cookie menu. Dixit declined to share how many people had been through the pop-up experience since it opened July 7.
Though consumers can't purchase Chipits products at the pop-up bar, the team is directing visitors to grocery stores in the area and Hershey has ensured those store shelves are stocked. Dixit said the brand would be monitoring the sales activities at these locations. If successful, Hershey would consider hosting the pop-up bake bar in other markets and may give consumers the chance to buy on the spot.
There's a charitable component to the campaign as well. For every pack of cookies Chipits gives out, it will donate one meal to the Daily Bread Food Bank.
Chipits is promoting the pop-up bake bar through geo-targeted ads on Facebook, local events listings and influencer relations. The bake bar runs until July 16.