It is a cool summer’s morning. A random person enters a newsagents to buy a quick chocolate-based snack to quieten his/her growling stomach. He or she is no different to any other random person milling around the high street. He/she buys a Kit-Kat, tears through its wrapper and begins extracting the crunchy chocolate and wafer fingers. Suddenly the sky turns black as a dark military helicopter appears overhead. In amongst the sudden strong winds and flying crisp packets, streams of commandos rappel down and surround the random person. All hell seems to be breaking loose. A commando kneels in front of the bemused chocaholic and opens a suitcase.
Is our hungry friend on Interpol’s most wanted list? Are they about to be enlisted into a top-secret government project to arrest a notorious cocoa bean smuggling kingpin in Ghana? No, our friend has just won the princely sum of £10,000 (about US$16,200), thanks to Nestlé’s newest innovative cash giveaway promotion.
The manufacturer behind the well-known KitKat and KitKat Chunky chocolate bars has put out special products which have a GPS chip embedded in them. As soon as someone purchases and opens one of the limited-edition confectionary, the trackers at Nestle HQ are notified. Within 24 hours, the prize team will locate the winner and present them with a cheque for £10,000. The company’s UK communications manager, Graham Walker announced “Nestlé Confectionery is delighted to be first to market with this highly innovative GPS based promotion. We believe this promotion will particularly appeal…and thus driving incremental sales.” Six lucky bars will soon find themselves on the shelves of stores at undisclosed locations in the UK or the Republic of Ireland. Six lucky winners may soon find themselves with a second pay cheque. Or wondering if they are been stalked by an over-enthusiastic and rich The Bill fan.
In addition to the money giveaway, Nestle UK are also running a two week long billboard campaign and a series of specially-branded products. With some help from publicity agency JWT London, 3,000 posters which come with QR & NFC codes are being erected at bus stops. Scan these with a smartphone and you will be taken to a website where you can enter another competition via Facebook to win one of 2,000 £10 prizes. Treasure seekers can also find out if any GPS-enabled treats are still waiting to be found.
While it is a clever marketing strategy by Nestle, consumers must find it very creepy to simply open up a chocolate bar and then several hours later, find a bunch of strangers with eerily dodgy smiles knocking on their door , telling them that they have won a healthy amount of cash. In a country where there are estimated to be around 2 million CCTV cameras which catch individuals on their lenses 300 times a day in London alone, this approach by Nestle does feel like Big Brother gone mad.
Advertising agencies are watching Nestlé’s development with interest. Agency PSFK described the GPS giveaway as being a real-life Willy Wonka competition. In the book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by acclaimed children’s author Roald Dahl, the reclusive chocolate entrepreneur Willy Wonka places golden tickets inside his chocolate bars offering their finders a tour of his magical factory.
Other branding managers are more doubting. Danie Gomez-Ortigoza of the blog Branding Worth Spreading comments that “There’s money, there’s chocolate, but there is no story behind the promotion. There is no magic. Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory made us dream, while Nestle is simply doing an average promotion using GPS technology that aims to build short term sales, but doesn’t do much for the brand long term.” Perhaps from a marketing point of view, Nestle have a ‘one-trick pony’ that may eventually buck and leave them back where they started, with no real impact on their sales. As it is, already a sizeable amount of companies do cash prizes/giveaways of varying degrees, and it is a tried-and-trusted form of product marketing in developed countries, appealing to consumers’ base desires for wealth and prosperity.
Nestlé’s GPS money giveaway certainly can make someone’s dream come true, especially in these days of austerity. That amount of money could mean a fun family holiday, or some badly-needed home improvements. Most people would just love the chance to acquire a lump sum of useful cash, as the popularity of the National Lottery can testify. However this could well be a corporate invasion of people’s privacy, and publicity they do not want. When you have pensioners being swindled or robbed by cold-callers and a government that has nothing seemingly better to do than know every detail about you and track your every move, would the fact that now a private profit making organisation can do that with relative ease assuage worries that Orwell’s dystopian world is rapidly becoming reality…?. It is probably advisable to watch for flashing lights and antennae the next time you pick up a Hovis loaf…
The Nestle ‘We Will Find You” prize giveaway will run on selected and marked KitKat, KitKat Chunky, Yorkie and Aero bars only in the British Isles.
CLICK picture below to view Nestlé’s advert that appeared recently on British television:
CCTV User Group – March 2011 from Politics.co.uk LINK
“Investigation: A sharp focus on CCTV” – Heather Brooke (Wired.co.uk/Conde Nast Digital) LINK
“We will find you – Nestle” – Danie Gomez-Ortigoza (Branding Worth Spreading) LINK
“We will find you’ marketing gone wild: Candy bars that guarantee stalkers” – Ms Smith (Network World) LINK
“Nestlé runs GPS-fitted chocolate bars competition” – Nick Batten (Campaign/Haymarket Business Media) LINK
“Nestle Embeds GPS In Chocolate Bars For Real-Life ‘Golden Ticket’ Contest” – Emma Hutchings (PSFK) LINK
“Kit Kat’s ‘We Will Find You’ campaign – GPS-tracked chocolate bars (Chocolate & Anxiety)” Autodespair LINK