Wheat Thins locks up consumer tweets

The brand is courting younger consumers and moving dollars to digital
10/9/2014

Wheat Thins Canada has it’s Twitter game on lock. Literally – the company is “locking” up customer tweets in images it’s sharing on Twitter. Every time a consumer tweets using the hashtag #WheatThinsGuards, the Mondelez Canada brand creates a personalized image for them that shows the tweet “protected” by one of six cartoon guard characters using an app created by Union Creative. One shows a wizard defending tweets with magical scepter. Another shows three security guards in suits and black shades, while a third features an angry looking octopus with its tentacles wrapped around the tweet. The idea behind the campaign, launched Sept. 29, is to show Wheat Thins are good enough to protect, according to Sylvia Gurliaccio, brand manager for Wheat Thins at Mondelez Canada. Gurliaccio said the campaign follows the company’s North American mandate to position Wheat Thins as a “must-have” product. Mondelez found via consumer research that consumers speak about Wheat Thins like they do other “passions” such as gaming or fashion. “Just like they go to great lengths to enjoy their passions, they go to great lengths to enjoy their Wheat Thins,” she said.

Since spring, the brand has been drilling home this line of messaging in all its communications. First, the brand launched a Canadian Wheat Thins Twitter handle this summer to attract the younger demo its currently targeting. Then, it’s using the hashtag #MustHaveWheatThins to showcase the crackers as a coveted snack. It also sent out sample boxes to influencers that were personalized with their own photo in an effort to drum up buzz. That helped the brand earn 4,000 followers, bringing its current tally up to about 5,400 thanks to the 1,000 new followers it gained in the first week of the #WheatThinsGuard campaign. Gurliaccio said Mondelez’s market research showed an opportunity for it to capitalize one of its “power brands” by courting younger customers to add to its healthy base of loyal moms. As part of that effort, it brought two new flavours to Canada – sundried tomato and nacho cheese. It also decided to focus its efforts on digital – the current campaign only includes Twitter – to meet young consumers where they spend most of their time. This follows the plans of Mondelez at large, given that the food giant pledged in June to spend move 50% of its marketing budget to digital by 2016. This week the company also inked a big deal with Google, moving a chunk of its TV budget to YouTube, further pledging to move 10% of its ad budget to online video this year. This article first appeared in Marketing Magazine.

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