Mondelez International more than a year ago launched its Mobile Futures initiative to spur mobile innovation within the company behind brands like Oreo, Trident and Cadbury.
The first phase of that project paired mobile start-ups with several of these top CPG brands to launch pilot marketing programs. The second phase, which started last summer, focused on Mondelez creating its own ventures to capitalize on perceived market opportunities.
To that end, the company on Tuesday announced teaming with venture development firm Prehype to launch a pair of online startups: Prankstr will allow users to prank their friends and share the gags via social networks, while Betabox aims to distribute product samples through e-commerce companies.
People who sign up for Prankstr select from several templates for creating pranks through their Facebook or Twitter accounts, which they can customize with the platform’s content creation tools. These include pranks for telling people you’re pregnant, have a socially transmitted disease or that the policed just broke in.
Betabox provides a mobile platform for promoting samples, content and special offers through “reputable” e-commerce partners not yet named. It allows brands to insert samples in the outgoing boxes of online retailers along with marketing material encouraging further interaction with the brand via mobile device.
Following the beta period, both ventures will seek additional funding to build out their offerings. "Encouraging our marketers to come up with concepts like Prankstr and Betabox shows how bringing a start-up mentality to our company can deliver innovative technologies to market and truly spark intrapreneurship,” said Bonin Bough, VP, global media and consumer engagement at Mondelez, in a statement.
The ideas for the start-ups came from Mondelez employees through a 90-day incubation process in which Prehype actually built and launched the test versions of the two platforms. The company has previously worked with corporations like NewsCorp, Verizon and Lego to develop start-ups and form venture partnerships.
The first phase of Mondelez’s Mobile Futures program paired nine brands, including Trident, Stride (gum) and Sour Patch Kids, with start-ups such as Roximity, Waze and Kiip to put mobile pilots into the market in 90 days. Of the eight that launched, the company recently told Mobile Marketing Dailythat two or three have the potential for national rollouts.