Kellogg’s is crossing two bridges at once, bringing its successful Special K Cracker Chips across the pond to the UK, where they're called (in local parlance) Special K Cracker Crisps, and using social currency in the form of tweets to pay for the savory treats.
Special K’s London pop-up, The Tweet Shop (a play on the classic British "sweet shop") is seeking tweets with the Twitter hashtag #tweetshop in return for a box of its new Cracker Crisps. That's what Kellogg's UK is billing as its ‘healthy brand of crisps (potato chips) that don't use potatoes’ and come in three flavors: sea salt and balsamic vinegar, sweet chilli and sour cream and onion and usually sell for $1 a pack.
Located in London's Soho area, the pop-up shop is a novel, digital twist on experiential marketing and consumer sampling — and puts a whole new spin on "You are what you tweet."
The Special K marketers and agency team are tracking tweets through a large LCD screen that follows the #tweetshop hashtag — once a tweet appears, the box of crisps is good to go. The twittersphere is jumping about the notion of using tweets as currency and the snacks are "selling" like, in a non-British analogy, hotcakes.
Self-described CPG and retail "obsessive" Greg Hodge tweeted this picture from his visit:
"We believe that physical and social are one and the same,” commented Dan Glover, creative director of Mischief PR, whose Slice experiential and event marketing agency carried out the campaign, to Ad Age. “When we had the idea it felt very simple, and we did a lot of checking to be sure it was a world first. We jumped on that and made it happen — it was eight weeks from idea to execution."
Kellogg’s is betting on the new product to be as big a hit as the promotion, with its press release asserting that “Special K Cracker Crisps won’t leave women feeling short changed – they are deliciously flavoured, crunchy and satisfying for less than 100 calories for a generous portion. There is nothing like them in the category at the moment that taps into this particular female need so we are really excited about their potential.”
Sarah Case, brand manager for Special K, stated, "The value of positive endorsements on social-media sites is beyond compare, so we're excited to be the first company to literally use social currency instead of financial currency to launch this new product in our bespoke Special K shop." [To be fair, one tweet pointed out a B2B "pay with tweets" effort from 2010.]
The pop-up store, open for only four days, closes on Friday Sept. 28, but the idea will have legs back in the U.S., too. As FastCoCreate puts it, “If Kim Kardashian can earn $10,000 for tweeting about a company, perhaps the rest of us schmoes at least deserve to earn a bag of chips for the same. Well, now we can…These free chips will be sure to tide Twitterers over this week when they’re not smacking a political candidate or trying to win an Audi.”