Mondelez pioneered the data gimmick snack market. A year ago, the company launched Oreo iD, an online service that allows people to create custom Oreo cookies and designs. The name is apt as Oreo iD is Mondelez’s first line of products that require customers to submit first-party identity information when purchasing.
Recently, Mondelez has been using outside marketing partners to get first-party data. The company’s Pokémon Oreos, which could only be ordered online from September to October and are now also available at Walmart locations, are the fastest-selling Oreo edition of all time, CEO Dirk Van de Put told investors this week.
Sour Patch Kids, another Mondelez brand, has also introduced an online “Make My Mix” ordering option that allows fans to create bespoke packs of their preferred range of sour gummy bears. In July, Sour Patch Kids worked with Twitch streamer TimTheTatman on a custom co-branded mix that was only available online.
“This program will further enhance Sour Patch Kids’ data-driven marketing approach by building CRM efforts through product purchases [and] Creation of re-marketing opportunities to interested consumers, ”Mili Ladhha, International Associate Director of Marketing for Mondelez’s confectionery brands, told AdExchanger at the time.
Pepsi became a mega gimmick with the launch of PepCoin 2019, a crypto-branded digital reward program. Essentially, it’s a QR code on Pepsi drinks and Doritos Lays snacks that offers a 10% discount when customers create an account and link an online wallet like Venmo or PayPal.
Then there’s this abomination: Tropicana brand toothpaste that doesn’t clash with the taste of orange juice after you brush your teeth. The Pepsi-backed juice brand (Pepsi spun Tropicana off as a joint venture this year, but still owns 40% of the business) is supplying the toothpaste to fans who follow the brand account and submit their contact details for a raffle. This is the best that Tropicana can get close to first-party data collection as it only sells juice in stores.
It is the season of the year
No, not Christmas. Halloween is the season of CPG data gimmicks.
Heinz sold a limited edition of “Tomato Blood” (normal ketchup) and Halloween costume sets so that people could dress up as artificial brides, mad scientists and pirates, among other things.
Budweiser and other AB InBev brands are opportunistically stepping onto any PR carts helping with low hanging ecom sales. When Home Depot’s giant skeleton decorations became a big meme last year, AB InBev quickly launched costumes that were specifically designed for the skeleton.
That year, AB InBev made a whole range of beer branded costumes for people, dogs and of course the same giant skeletons.
AB InBev’s BEES B2B and beverage ordering app (like stores or bars stocking beer) is the backbone of first-party data. However, Doukerkis told investors that the “one-of-a-kind at home experience” of ordering merchandise and other products from its e-store has grossed more than $ 100 million so far this year for the company.
The QSR game
It’s not just snack and drink brands in the data gimmick arena.
QSR brands are committed to offering exclusive menu items or merch when customers order via app (also known as having first-party data attached).
McDonald’s had a successful co-marketing deal with rapper Travis Scott late last year that included a special preset meal as well as an extensive line of merchandise.
The Golden Arches followed this year with a similar limited-edition food-and-merch partnership with Korean boy band BTS. To buy, customers had to use the app.
Burger King started special dining partnerships with Larissa Machado, Cornell Haynes (you know him as Nelly), and Chase Hudson (ahem, Lil Huddy for the little ones). BK offers customers who download the app or sign up for their loyalty program an additional discount to make the purchase.
In order not to stay out of the trend, Popeyes announced a deal with rapper Megan Thee Stallion last month for a range of merchandise drops – T-shirts, a bikini, and plush toys with roasted chicken are among the first items available – as well as a limited one hot sauce.
Unsurprisingly, Popeyes customers get special offers and cashback when they purchase co-branded menu items from Megan Thee Stallion online or in the app.
Clearly, data-poor marketers are doing their best to build up their databases and take control of the ordering experience. The real test is yet to come – transforming first-party dataplay from a gimmick to a dataset that can advance their brands in a world where identity is more important than ever.