Kellogg’s social media sampling campaign to launch its new Special K crisps saw the company open a “Tweet Shop” in trendy Soho, London.
It works in two easy steps: 1) go to the “Tweet” store and 2) “pay with a Tweet” to get your hands on to the new Kellogg’s crisps. Easy! The shop also features a “tweet wall” which displays the shared tweets about the new product.
So why is this so newsworthy? Can’t they just hand out free samples at the tube station like brands usually do? It’s all about brand PR and use of social media in a brick and mortar store I guess but this is what Kellogg’s says:
“The value of positive endorsements on social media sites is beyond compare so we’re excited to be the first company to literally use social currency instead of financial currency to launch this new product in our bespoke Special K shop… This is big news for Special K and we are hoping the brand’s move into crisps and the high street will create a major buzz on and offline.”
Quite clever way to combine social media with brick and mortar stores and it is nice to have a shop assistant around to answer questions about the new product while you sample it. Beats simply handing out stuff at the station during rush hour and supermarket sampling in my book!
I am NOT knocking this idea but as a marketer I find it quite cheeky that Kellogg’s makes it out to be generous and “social” where it is quite far from the truth.
First of all, you don’t pay for samples. EVER. Not with a tweet or a penny. When a brand launches a new product and wants people to try it, samples are distributed freely. To make consumers work for samples is cheeky.
Second I don’t find it terribly social for Kellogg’s to get consumers to publish their push marketing messages such as “guilt free snacking with new moreish with Special K cracker crisps. Only 95 calories per bag #tweetshop”. I understand that Kellogg’s is trying to capitalise on the Word of Mouth which campaigns such as this generate but WOM works best if not forced by brands. It can be seen as forced and false advocacy if it was aided by the brand.
But that is just the cynic talking and I’m happy to be convinced otherwise! Let’s see how the buzz and excitement about new crisps on the high street generated those sales numbers after the campaign…