I do like these innovative posters from Mr Kipling which dispense free samples of cakes at bus stops. You press the button and, hey presto, you get a free cake! The brand has been around for decades and used the slogan "Exceedingly good cakes".
Thanks to Silas at JKR for the story.
1. Media innovation
Nice to see that media innovation can come from a big company like Premier Foods, who own Mr Kippling. This is a clever use of good old fashioned posters. And it should create some talkability and buzz about the brand.
2. Getting decent reach
The Mr Kipling team have gone for it with the idea, doing 19 sites across the UK and giving out 130,000 samples. They could have just done it as a one-off media stunt, but I think its more powerful to have some decent reach.
3. Clever connection
The bust stop seems a good place to do this activity. The product is "cake to go", which you can take with you, well, on the go. So, people are trying the product in a place where they might really want to eat it, and so the activity should hopefully have more impact, as trialists see the benefit.
4. Making everyday life a little better
All brands should solve a problem and/or make everyday life a little better. And this acitivity seems to do this as Michelle Wilde, Brand Director of Mr Kipling, says: ”A slice of cake when you least expect it can bring a moment of joy to your day. Mr Kipling Snap Pack cakes are perfect for bringing that little piece of happiness for you to take and eat on the go.”
And here are some questions and issues:
1. Link to purchase
It was hard to find out where and how to buy the cake to go product being sampled. There are several problems here, which will reduce the impact of the activity on purchase behaviour:
- The product is not on the Mr Kipling website. I would have featured the product, and had a link to buy it online at Tesco.com for example
- This approach also reduces the ability of the campaign to create memory structure, which is a shame, by promoting 2 ideas: cake to go, and snap packs. What do I put on my shopping list?
I think the tagline misses a trick, by just saying "Cake to go", which is again a bit functional. Why not use more of the words in Michelle's comments... "Take a bit of happiness with you"?, "Joy on the go"?"Now angel cakes can fly"?
Or, the most obvious one, to reinforce brand memory structure: "Exceedingy good cakes. To go"
The little TV ad, shown below, nicely bring to life the idea of angel cakes magically available to take with you. But "Cake to go" doesn't capture this for me.
3. Reality check on "going viral"
This activity is disinctive and feels buzz-worthy to me. However, the campaign doesn't seem to have gone viral, which I am guessing was part of the objectives. It has been covered in the marketing press (like me), but doesn't seem to have broken into the mainstream. YouTube views are a pretty low 11,000.
[Stop press: Michelle from Premier has let me know that Canadian TV news did pick up the story here. The news is at 57 mins on the video]
I think this might be because the campaign is nice, but just not strong enough in creating emotion. Simply put, to go viral you've got to either: i) make people cry, ii) make them laugh, iii) make them horny, or iv) blow their socks off with entertainment.
And this campaign doesn't really do any of these.
In conclusion, a nice example of a brand making clever use of media to connect with people and sample a new product in an interesting way. But, missing a trick in terms of making the link to productct purchase clear to help SMS (sell more stuff).