In the lead-up to the feature film release of Minions, Chiquita developed an innovative strategy to capitalize on its partnership with Universal Pictures. The brand designed a mobile-first campaign targeted toward mothers of young children, with seamless desktop integration. In-store shoppers could scan Minions-themed stickers on Chiquita bananas to unlock original instant prizes and content. Customers could also access more games and content on the mobile-ready website, and enter an “instant win” sweepstakes that rewarded all users for their engagement. The campaign was so popular that 90 percent of traffic came from earned, in-store, and owned media.
Objective and Context:
Produce giant Chiquita needed a new and innovative way to capitalize on its partnership with Universal Pictures leading up to the Minions feature film release in the summer of 2015. It wasn’t enough to simply equate the banana-loving Minions with the Chiquita brand. Chiquita wanted this campaign to redefine its relationship with its mobile audience, capturing new leads and driving sales with fun and addictive content designed to support the entire customer journey, both in and out of the store.
Chiquita had two goals for its campaign. The brand wanted to generate new target demographic leads with its newly revamped, mobile-first CRM efforts. The second goal was to create a new dimension of value for the product, bananas, by integrating a layer of digital engagement and content into Chiquita’s shopper marketing strategy.
Chiquita needed to appeal specifically to the demographic with the highest probable purchasing power: moms with young children. By aligning family-friendly mobile experiences with the family-friendly Minions property, Chiquita aimed to position itself as the ideal family-friendly option in the local produce section.
Chiquita previously partnered with the Minions property years ago, surrounding the release of the film Despicable Me 2. While that campaign was filled with fun and engaging experiences for desktop users, this new campaign was conceived from the ground up to engage Chiquita’s on-the-go mobile audience. For the first time ever, Chiquita’s in-store product was more than just a banana; it was a collection of experiences tailored to entertain the target audience.
From the inception stage, the campaign was created to be truly mobile-first, not just from a design standpoint but a strategic one as well. Every decision made around the art, technology, and engineering involved was based on the understanding that modern “connected shoppers” engage with brands like Chiquita primarily through their mobile phones.
However, the campaign was also designed to drive repeat website traffic, so it was vital to offer a seamless cross-screen experience for users going back and forth between mobile and desktop devices. There was no strategic delineation between mobile and desktop. Instead, Chiquita chose to focus on continuity of experience.
Overall Campaign Execution:
The campaign was conceived around three ideas. First, image recognition technology was used to bridge Chiquita’s physical shopper marketing and in-store mobile engagement. Thirty-two different collectible Minions stickers were mass-produced and placed on millions of bananas by hand. Every time shoppers scanned a new sticker with their phones, it unlocked instant prizes and content.
Second, a new mobile-first “Minions Love Bananas” website was created for the upcoming film. It functioned seamlessly on both mobile and desktop without an app, and featured a wealth of interactive experiences to engage the target demographic of moms and their families. The website included arcade games, greeting card makers, interactive recipes, and a fun tournament where users could vote for their favorite Minion. Visitors were rewarded for every activity completed.
Third, a prize engine was created with custom logic to power an instant-win “sweepstakes” that promised everyone would be a winner. This sweepstakes structure unified every facet of the campaign, rewarding users every time they engaged with the website or scanned a sticker. In addition to a limited supply of more traditional prizes, such as a grand prize vacation to London and movie-related consumer goods, players could also win an unlimited supply of mobile-first digital content, including wallpapers, videos, and activities. These digital prizes allowed the campaign to scale up to any size with negligible additional cost to the brand.
Unlike Chiquita’s previous Flash-based Minions campaign, this campaign was powered by HTML5 for an optimal cross-device experience. The sticker scanner, which was essential for engaging shoppers in the store, was built with top-of-the-line visual search technology originally developed for medical professionals to identify tumors in x-rays. To promote retention and re-engagement, users could only win up to four prizes an hour, meaning they had to return to the site over and over again all summer to continue playing.
The campaign’s overall sweepstakes structure was ideal for generating leads within Chiquita’s target audience of mothers with young children. The demographic breakdown for habitual sweepstakes entrants matched perfectly with the audience the brand hoped to reach: 75 percent of traffic came from women, and 63 percent of traffic came from users in the age range of parents with kids at home. When it came to repeat engagement and lead capture, women were more than twice as likely to opt in for future marketing or to pay the site a return visit.
Chiquita’s mobile audience loved the Minions campaign. The website saw a return rate above 50 percent, with 20 percent of unique visitors signing up to receive rewards. Of that audience, 35 percent opted in to receive ongoing marketing from Chiquita in the form of a newly-revamped email and CRM text program. The average session length was four minutes and 19 seconds, which is not surprising considering that 10 percent of all unique users participated in more than 100 engagement events within the first three weeks of the campaign. Within that same timeframe, a total of 404,406 prize-redeeming activities had been completed. By leveraging mobile as a vector to deliver digital content to in-store shoppers, Chiquita achieved unprecedented differentiation from its retail competitors, giving shoppers a tangible reason to choose retailers which stocked Chiquita produce.
Thanks to word of mouth, press, and the intrinsic popularity of the Minions property, 90 percent of all traffic came from earned, in-store, or owned media. The low bounce rate was another indication of how much of an impact the campaign had on consumers. Earned and organic traffic saw a bounce rate of less than 15 percent, while in-store shoppers who engaged with the sticker scanner bounced less than 7 percent of the time. Taking paid media into account, the overall bounce rate was still just a mere 24 percent.