Nestlé's Milo Chocolate is the most popular chocolate beverage in the Philippines. It has been around for over 50 years, owns 93 percent of the chocolate malt beverage market, and has been a strong patron of nationwide sports programs for decades. While these stats are impressive, they also contribute to Milo's biggest challenge: growth. Although the brand has matured, its engagement strategies have remained unchanged for a long time. To address this challenge, Milo set out to help its target audience of mothers take on an issue that mattered to them and to the brand: health.
Objective and Context:
While Filipino mothers wanted their kids to be healthy, they didn't have the tools to pry them away from their screens. Milo wanted to take on this challenge to improve the health of Filipino children.
Milo's primary target market was mothers, whose top priority is the health of their kids. Physical activity is a key component of that. Many Filipino children don't get enough exercise. According to the director of the Department of Health NCR, "The trend today is fast food and electronics." In fact, the Philippines beats the global average screen time by more than double: up to 115 minutes a day versus the global average of 50 minutes a day.
Additionally, time spent on physical education in the country is half of the global mean. While a sedentary lifestyle in children is not a problem unique to the Philippines, it is especially pressing there. Research by the Department of Science and Technology indicates that 86 percent of students aged 11 to 18 years old are physically inactive. The percentage of overweight and obese children is also increasing each year.
Milo set out to link the future of the brand with the future of the Philippines. Instead of treating technology as the enemy, it used it to create not only an exciting new way of engaging mothers but a solution that encouraged kids to be active again. The campaign was called the "Milo Champions Band and App." The platform was first launched in the annual Milo Summer Sports Clinic, where each kid received a band, and moms were instructed to download the app.
Overall Campaign Execution:
For almost 40 years, Milo has strengthened its sports equity through a sports clinics for kids. But in 2015, it saw an opportunity to expand the limited reach of its on-ground programs using technology. Milo used technology to encourage kids to be active. The insights and learnings from the first batch of users are now being used to improve the program and to scale the project nationally and globally, with pilots in Australia and Thailand. Milo spent $64,000 on the band and mobile app development and $20,000 on the pilot program rollout.
The Milo Champions Band is a wearable technology that tracked the energy expenditure of a child. The Champions App, its partner mobile app, then matched the data against the child's energy intake, as logged through a built-in food journal. Used as a system, they helped moms monitor their children's energy level (physical activity versus calorie consumption).
When the band detected that the target number of steps was not achieved for the day, the app sent a notification to let a mom know her child needed more play time. Separately, the app gave food recommendations based on the nutrients that the child lacked for the day. Gamification principles were applied to turn hitting energy targets into rewarding screen experiences for kids.
Through the Champions Band and App, Milo found a new way to make kids more active and to increase their mothers' involvement in the process. In fact, 98 percent of the moms recognized the platform's relevance since they could monitor activity and nutrition every day and get personalized recommendations based on their child's daily activities and food intake.
The value of the platform was also evident in how deeply users were engaged. They used the Champions App for an average of 63 minutes during the first three weeks. The Champions Band and App proved to be the most engaging of Milo's channels and mobile apps. True to its objective, the platform increased the average number of steps taken by kids by 41 percent in four weeks. By week four, kids who continuously used the band were twice as likely to reach their recommended energy requirement.
After using the app for four weeks, users improved their perceptions of Milo regarding sports, energy, and innovation by as much as 13 percent. The consideration score for the product has also increased.