Mike Goldberg: Executive Creative Director | Writer | Director
Every Fall, 43,000 students swarm the University of Wisconsin, Madison campus and Mentos saw an opportunity to promote Mentos Gum by engaging their core audience through an activation. The challenge was how to transform the local event into a global outreach.
Mentos targeted college students who were highly active on social media.
Mentos recruited incoming freshman Sam J to be a brand ambassador for the activation and his task was to hand out 43,000 packs of Mentos in 6 days to 43,000 of his closest friends. As Sam handed out product at each of the 31 activation sites on campus he started to build a local “celebrity” status. By creating fun and heartfelt video stories of Sam engaging with students he became a “likable” character which easily translated on social media. As Mentos used every social media channel available, playing to each channel’s strength, Sam’s local “celebrity” status quickly became a global phenomena. Students couldn’t wait to see what Sam did next. #SamhasMentosgum
VIDEO: The video content was the driving force and was featured on YouTube, Facebook, Facebook Live Streaming and Instagram Stories. The objective was to create a mix of videos from the brand anthem story told by Sam, to fun short form videos featuring Sam connecting with a variety of students.
FACEBOOK: The data showed that Facebook was central to this audience and this is where they generally shared information. Mentos received upwards of 15 million likes during the 10 day period on Facebook alone. #SamhasMentosgum
FACEBOOK LIVE STREAMING: Influencer, Sara Hopkins was employed to accompany Sam on his journey and be his guide in the social media world. Sara leveraged her following for Mentos with a live streaming event on Facebook where she gave a behind the scenes look of the shoot.
TWITTER: Twitter was used to alert students about Sam’s whereabout on campus at any given moment for the opportunity to receive free Mentos gum. When the Tweet went out Sam was swarmed with students wanting to engage with him.
INSTAGRAM: Instagram is a college go to and reached a large segment with photos of Sam engaging as well as short form teasers of the videos on IG Stories.
PUBLIC RELATIONS: DJ Khaled’s participation in the activation became a PR event unto itself. If Sam was successful in giving out all 43,000 packs of gum, Mentos would fund a free DJ Khaled concert for all of UW to enjoy. Khaled has a large social media presence and directed his audience to Mentos’ social media platforms.
The campaign was a major success as Sam gave out all 43,000 bottles of Mentos Gum and DJ Khaled gave a free concert. Working round the clock the team shot 31 videos, edited and uploaded them to social with the first video alone capturing 2 million views on the first day. Sam became a local phenonmena and very quickly a global one as tens of millions of Mentos loyalists caught on. Sales spiked 30% within that 10 day period and stayed in the positive through the following months. The success of this activation changed the way Mentos marketed themselves from that point on.
KPI’s: Sales spike. Facebook likes. YouTube views. Subscriber increase to Mentos social media channels.