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Chiquita Banana finds Minions are marketable bunch on mobile

Chiquita Bananas is teaming up with Universal Pictures’ upcoming Minions movie for an image recognition campaign that enables consumers to scan stickers with their smartphones to unlock digital content such as mobile postcards, sweepstakes and other prizes.

Fans of the affable yellow characters are encouraged to download the Chiquita FanFun application to snap photos of the Minion-branded stickers found on the bananas to receive instant win rewards, create photo cards featuring the movie’s characters and potentially win a trip to London. The shopper marketing campaign, which is powered by FunMobility, displays the advertising opportunity available on food items and suggests image recognition will continue growing from strength to strength.

“We wanted to use mobile image recognition as a way to extend the Chiquita physical stickers to the digital realm,” said Adam Lavine, CEO of FunMobility, Inc., San Ramon, CA. “The Chiquita brand sticker is ubiquitous, and the Minions are very recognizable characters.

“The combination of them into 32 unique stickers is a collector’s dream. What better way to collect the stickers than by scanning them with your mobile device?”

Relevant content
The Minions movie’s partnership with Chiquita Bananas is a smart marketing tactic. While the Minions do resemble bananas, one of the characters’ favorite words is “banana,” which automatically creates an organic moment behind the campaign.

Fans who download the FanFun app onto their smartphones can visit any grocery store where Chiquita Bananas are sold and snap an image of the branded stickers. Up to 32 stickers may be scanned for a chance to receive instant win prizes.

“We have already seen a substantial organic audience that is super-engaged with this promotion,” Mr. Lavine said. “We are seeing very high rates of returning visitors, long session durations and high email and SMS opt-in rates.

“This is being driven by the prizes, fun HTML5 mini games and the banana stickers being a Pokemon-style collectable mechanic,” he said. “Users are drawn in by the physical prizes, including beach towels, water bottles, movie tickets and a trip to London.

“Physical prizes are combined with an infinite supply of digital prizes, including game power-ups and digital content, so every hour users can return, press the Instant Win button and win something new.”

Image recognition is gaining considerable traction among food and beverage marketers. This past May, Heineken tapped augmented reality mobile application Blippar for a new campaign that offered consumers a look at beer’s ingredients by asking users to snap a photo of a Heineken bottle to unlock exclusive content and create selfies to share across social media (see story).

Mobile microsite
The campaign also has a complementary microsite for smartphone and desktop users, where they will be able to play games such as “Minion Matcher,” “Banana Shot Arcade” and “Sticker Showdown.”

Consumers’ appreciation of quick games on mobile cannot be understated, as they provide easy distractions on smartphones while commuting, waiting in line or simply on-the-go.

Fans will also be able to send friends and family a Minion greeting card from the mobile site, which can be found at Visitors can select one of 12 card backgrounds, which are stills from the film, and personalize them with a message.

Baking enthusiasts may explore the plethora of themed recipes available, such as Banana Minion Cupcakes, Chicken Tacos with Banana-Pineapple Salsa and Chocolate Banana Piano Cake.

The comprehensive material will likely ensure thorough promotion of the film and spike consumers’ appetite for bananas, particularly as the fruit can be used in a slew of summery beverages and treats.

“Mobile enables deeper, more intimate engagement than any other medium,” Mr. Lavine said. “Minions is a property that resonates on an emotional level, so it’s very important to have in the mix.

“The Chiquita Minions Love Banana promotion also adds a new dimension to the movie and gives different ways to interact with the characters and the Chiquita brand.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York