Effie Case Study: Strangewich Challenge
Lead Agencies: Team Unilever Shopper; Geometry Global
2018 Shopper Marketing Effie Award: Omni-Channel Shopper Experience (Silver)
Mayo, donut, gummy worm and pickle sandwich, anyone? Unilever brought new life to the Hellmann’s mayonnaise brand with the “Strangewich Challenge,” a social sweepstakes and live event that added the unique twist of having mom and dad eat whatever crazy concoctions their kids made – and share it. In all, the campaign generated nearly 30 million social media impressions via blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, exceeding the goal by nearly 300%.
The program reignited sales at Walmart. A brand engagement page at Walmart.com hosted recipes using Hellmann’s mayonnaise, info on how to enter the challenge sweepstakes to meet racecar driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., and buttons to click and buy Hellmann’s. The fun social angle asked families to share their Hellmann’s sandwich creations using the #Strangewiches hashtag. Videos of disgusted parents went viral and the brand leveraged the videos. Print ads drove attention in Delish magazine, while TV endcaps in stores and sampling in 830 locations supported the effort. Earnhardt appeared at a Daytona 500 event with his “The Turkey Nacho Crunch” sandwich that families could try as well as make their own sandwiches.
Walmart saw nearly 5% category lift compared to the year before, while Hellmann’s mayonnaise saw a 30% bump. The Strangewich effort was needed to regenerate sales at Walmart, where Hellmann’s had hit a drought. Overall product usage was down, too. The earliest mom would return to buy mayo would be two months, at best.
The challenge for Unilever and Walmart, according to shopper insights pulled for the campaign, is that moms are nervous to experiment with mayonnaise in case her kids don’t like the meal. Strangewich averted this by having fun with the brand, since insights show that kids are more likely to eat something when they have a hand in making it and when given license to play with it.