Perfetti Van Melle has hired the Agency Martin part of Richmond, Virginia, the Interpublic Group of companies, as the Agency of social media in the United States for its line of Mentos mints and gums. As Perfetti Van Melle Mentos prepares to introduce UP2U, its first rubber stick sold in this country, initial publicity efforts will focus in social media like Facebook.
For example, the new rubber already has a Facebook fan page on facebook.com,/up2u, that more people have shown 95,900 their "likes." The first 1,000 visitors who clicked on the button "as" obtained in a rubber free promotion that began on June 13 and ended on Wednesday.
Plans call for an invitation to be made next month on the fan page, wondering who "like" the new product to provide the name of friends who would like to receive samples.
Perfetti Van Melle long has been a part of digital media for Mentos. In 2003, during the election for Governor, California Mentos introduced a microsite, or special Web site, which tried to declare a new boxed product, Mentos mints, such as "chewy Mint official" of the elections.
And in 2006, when performance artists loaded to a website called eepybird.com, a video clip that showed how mixing Diet Coke with Mentos mints can produce cool explosions, Perfetti Van Melle hugged them and posted the clip on mentos.com.
The strategy of introducing Mentos UP2U "is very marketing 360 degrees, starting with very compelling and unique content, social media," said Mehmet Yuksek, executive vice President for North America at the Office of Perfetti Van Melle in Erlanger, KY.
"We would like to build a buzz," he added, and then navigate to advertising in traditional media such as television.
To help generate that word of mouth, Perfetti Van Melle is also using Lizzie – Grubman public relations in New York, which will distribute samples of Mentos UP2U to events in places like Las Vegas and Miami.
Aspects of interactive marketing plans are indicative of the growing importance of digital initiatives at companies that peddle packaged consumer goods.
"Only a few years ago, digital information meant one thing to senior executives: risk," said Susan McPartlin, retail and consumer industry leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he joined with the Grocery Manufacturers Association, on Tuesday to release a study entitled "thriving in a world connected".
"However, companies are no longer defending the thought," he added. "They are using the digital data to advance their competitive position."
At the same time, social media, smart phones and other digital technologies are empowering consumers with more control of their shopping choices, "ms. McPartlin said. "And are not shy of posting their feelings about products online, where they literally are deliver reams of potential insights that can create a tremendous opportunity for consumer packaged goods organizations that can find patterns in noise."
Which is shown repeatedly on Facebook fan page UP2U. For example, about an hour after the mark has posted a question on the Wednesday afternoon — "a song theme plays whenever you enter a room. The UP2U, what song is choose? "— There were already more than 120 comments that included "I Will Survive", the theme from "Jaws", "Like a Virgin" and "my children say the music from ' the wizard of Oz ' when the old lady is on her bike. "
In this realm, "consumers are out in front, said Marc Kempter, senior vice president and group account Director at Martin, in particular the target for the gum, which is of teenagers and young adults.
"Television is still necessary to create broad awareness" for a new product, he added, but the propensities of digital extroverts "" in the market for core UP2U has led to a decision "to launch it digitally before, building up a following of fans and then take mass."
There are disadvantages to this strategy, Mr. Kempter said, especially that "there is no playbook" for success.
"Six months ago, a year ago, everyone was talking about Facebook ' likes '," he added. "Now, it's not just ' tastes ', is the interaction that you want to have with consumers. "
Perfetti Van Melle already sells a variety of chewing gum pellets of Mentos, called Mentos pure fresh, but wants to enter the segment of Chew Stick because it is about four times larger. The segment of baton-rubber, however, is intensely competitive, as the confectionery giant Mars, which now owns Wrigley chewing stick brands like orbit, juicy fruit, 5 and collides with Kraft Foods, which now owns brands like Cadbury-stick gum, Dentyne and Trident Stride.
"We are a top-tier global rubber formidable player," Mr. Yuksek said, referring to the brands Perfetti Van Melle sold internationally as Brooklyn and Happydent. "We are here to make it happen in the United States."
Mentos UP2U carries that name, because each package 14-stick contains seven sticks of a flavor and seven sticks of a second. Packages to declare: "2 flavors. 1 package. You decide '. The four couples include Berry watermelon/fresh mint and fresh mint sweet/bubble.
In September, there will be "an entire digital experience bringing the brand to life, all about choice celebrates," Mr. Kempter said, "and then TV in late autumn."
According to Mr. Yuksek, Perfetti Van Melle expects to spend 50 million dollars in advertising and marketing to introduce new rubber. The company spent $ 17.3 million in the United States last year, the unit of WPP's Kantar Media reported, to advertise in major media in all its gums, mints and candy, including taffy Air Heads and Chupa Chups lollipops.