I’ve got a special technique. While I’m slowly roasting the marshmallow at the base of the fire I’m also melting the chocolate inside the graham crackers. It’s usually a precarious balancing act, that requires the perfect stick, but when everything comes together, it’s pure magic. Some people prefer the flameout, others prefer to roast-and-peel, but regardless of the approach, s’mores are a summertime institution. So much so that Aug. 10 is National S’mores Day.
A true example of co-opetition, the s’more brings together fierce CPG competitors, Hershey’s, Mondelez, and Kraft Heinz around a common event. For almost a decade the three companies have been collaborating to highlight the wonderment that is the campfire s’more. This year, however, they’ve moved beyond a store-only strategy to engage consumers using an interactive campaign and contest focused around first s’more experiences (#ShareSmore and #PickMe).
A combination of Web, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube activation, the beauty in the execution of the fun, light-hearted campaign is that it connects the brands with positive shareable experiences. It seems that everyone has a great s’more memory, and by adding a contest element they are hoping to increase engagement. But it’s not just about engagement. S’mores are a growth driver for the brands and they are looking to the campaign to boost sales – even beyond the 2M+ s’mores that are already consumed in the US during the summer months.
For me, there are two lessons to be learned from this campaign: 1) when going to market, look beyond protectionist strategies and see where collaboration, even with competitors, can provide shared growth; and 2) always try to connect campaign results to business drivers – while engagement is often an indicator of success, sales are irrefutable evidence.
Happy camping! Happy roasting! Stay clean!