Nutella is encouraging people to literally swap their pancake syrup for the chocolate/hazelnut spread, via an advertising campaign and pop-up experience in Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal -- all tied to today’s Pancake Tuesday, traditionally the last day to gorge before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent.
On Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Vanderbilt Hall section of Grand Central will house the Nutella Syrup Swap Pop-up. Visitors can obtain a 13-ounce jar of Nutella, along with pancakes topped with the spread -- but the only form of payment will be a new or open bottle of pancake syrup.
To generate awareness and traffic, Nutella is using out-of-home boards in Grand Central and on various LinkNYC street-level kiosks -- which offer free phone calls, WiFi and other services.
The messaging and images note that there are many things you can’t swap out in New York, including “creepy” pigeons.
“We ideated around annoyances in New York that are just facts of life in the city,” Todd Condie, creative director at the agency Terri & Sandy, which created the Nutella Syrup Swap concept, tells Marketing Daily. “So this notion of creepy pigeons who have no concept of personal space -- that’s something you can’t get rid of in the city.”
Manhattan was chosen as the event locale because of its preponderance of people who are very active on social media, according to Condie. “In an ideal world, we’d be able to do a pop-up event in 50 or 100 cities, but that’s just not possible.”
On social media, Nutella is giving people specific suggestions about how to “recycle” pancake syrup they might no longer need. Those range from “syrup hair gel” to “syrup glue” to “syrup tile caulk.”
An early part of the campaign on social media last week was the introduction of six new designs for making pancakes in the shape of dinosaurs, a.k.a. Nutella Creations.
“This notion of creating these different dinosaurs is just another way to put a smile on your child’s face,” Condie adds.
Nutella is debuting a new skill on Amazon’s Alexa voice service titled Nutella Creations. Users can access a variety of recipes containing Nutella while playing an interactive memory game for entertainment during breakfast prep.
A mention of the new Alexa skill has been added to the end of Nutella’s current television commercial.
Terri & Sandy partnered with Track Marketing for the pop-up activation and assisted on content and marketing for the Alexa skill, which was built by Skilled Creative Agency.