You’re sitting in your house watching reruns of Home Improvement when someone knocks on your door. To your surprise, a man quoting your tweet, “I love wheat thins and tuna,” drops off a pallet of snacks. That’s how Wheat Thins and their “Crunch is Calling” social media-driven campaign, brought to you by The Escape Pod, works. Kraft Foods/Nabisco’s intentions are focused on engaging a new target audience of women and men ages 25-45, an audience vastly different than their traditional consumer base of women 45 and older.
The broadcast commercials themselves are humorous and awkward for the posters/tweeters, who are ambushed by the crew. There’s also the possibility of having your picture on the box or a whole pallet of Wheat Thins--your own 30 seconds or so of fame.
Wheat Thins’ big problem was that their traditional consumers thought of them as “just a traditional cracker.” And with a different market segment for a product that had become “too familiar” another approach was necessary. Through consumer research it was found that the crunch, flavor and texture were key attractions to the new, younger audience. So in order to bring these qualities to their audience, reinforce their brand identity, and more actively engage and interact with customers, Wheat Thins turned to social media with the hope that this new campaign would stimulate comments on Facebook and Twitter and have consumers follow the brand there as well.
This reminds me of how popular Krispy Kreme donuts were back in the late 90s and early 00s. Everyone and their parents were raving about these airy donuts that were served hot and only available in the southern states. When Krispy Kreme stores opened, cars were wrapped around the outside of stores for blocks, waiting patiently for their chance to indulge. After everyone stuffed themselves, the product reached a saturation point, the hype ended and Kryspy Kreme's became just another donut. The novelty wore off. Now, I certainly enjoy donuts and milk, even though it’s been a while since I’ve had them. It’s like I forgot how awesome they are in the morning. But again, what was once a go-to morning delight is just something else to have for breakfast. And I can't say I'm not thinking about buying one while writing this, but I can’t say if that will translate into a purchase sometime soon.
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