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Toaster Strudel campaign engages Fruit Ninja fans via gaming, coupons

Pillsbury Toaster Strudel’s “More Fruit” campaign drove consumer engagement this summer by creating an end-to-end gaming and entertainment experience that started in a digital game, moved into a mobile coupon and ended in a checkout line.

Through a native voice, characters, and gameplay, 42 percent of sponsored challenges were completed by Fruit Ninja users before, during and after the event — representing a very high mobile engagement of nearly 1 million users and up to 16 million impressions. The results show how gamification works for brands when the experience feels natural to the user, and in this case, Toaster Strudel was a familiar guest star that users welcomed to the show.

“Contextually, the content delivered through this mobile experience was perfectly aligned with the app,” said John P. Smith, vice president, engagement and loyalty solutions, Beintoo. “Through a native voice, characters, and gameplay, consumers embraced Toaster Strudel’s message.

“Their in-game accomplishments led to real-world fulfillment through a mobile coupon,” he said. “Toaster Strudel created an end to end experience that started in a digital game and ended in a checkout line.”

Range of media
The campaign leveraged a range of media and channels, including national TV spots, a partnership with the popular application Fruit Ninja, social media and a successful live event in LA.

During the campaign, which ran from Aug. 7 through Sept. 4, Fruit Ninja players were served up in-app missions — for example, to slice 1,000 watermelons — and upon completion, were offered a reward: either a 75 cent off coupon for a box of Toaster Strudel or BeDollars to redeem in the BeClub rewards catalog.

In addition, all users who completed the mission were served a video that promoted the live event in Los Angeles (pre-Aug. 13) or a post-event wrap-up video (after the event, through Sept. 5).

To build on its paid and earned media, and drive conversion with on-the-go, mobile consumers, Pillsbury tapped Beintoo, a mobile technology company that creates online to offline engagement campaigns for brands and retailers. Through its BeClub platform, Beintoo offers app publishers opportunities to create incremental ad inventory that does not cannibalize what they are already monetizing — tapping into a combination of rewards and gamification experiences.

For the Toaster Strudel initiative, Beintoo built an intuitive user experience that provided contextual messaging about the Toaster Strudel brand within the Fruit Ninja app; this included sponsored challenges, videos and a coupon offer.

While the live event in Los Angeles successfully conveyed the “more fruit” message by engaging consumers and driving awareness via media coverage, the reach of Beintoo’s in-app experience and messaging before, during and after the event drove extended consumer engagement with the contextual, branded content.

The campaign had a 13 percent acceptance rate, as 12,571 walk-in missions were accepted by Fruit Ninja players in the LA area near the event. That completed the 42 percent of sponsored challenges that were completed by Fruit Ninja users before, during and after the event.

Combining the mobile component with the live event played a big role in the campaign’s success.

Earn rewards
“Users nearby the event were challenged to earn rewards for going to the live event,” Mr. Smith said. “More importantly, however, was how the live event video coverage was used to engage tens of thousands of users throughout the country after the event. This allowed the brand to present exciting content to users in a way that was a real life extension of the game and was therefore welcomed by users.”

The results are an illustration of the power in combining digital and live content.

“Brands and retailers are used to going all in with partners who offer broad reach, but only surface level KPI’s,” Mr. Smith said. “When digital and real-world context work in tandem to create quality mobile engagement and measurable results, consumers no longer feel bombarded with a message.

“The brand is now simply a part of their consumer journey.”

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York.