The Deconstructed Brief
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You want to give away how many free packs of gum?

You want to give away how many free packs of gum?

Brand: Mentos Gum 

Agency: Fast Horse

Challenge

Mentos may be synonymous with fresh, thanks to its chewy mints, but few people associate Mentos with gum. That needed to change.

Mentos Gum needed a proper introduction — one that reinforced its association with fresh and its brand promise of giving people the confidence to make fresh connections.

Insight:

No one says no to Mentos Gum.

One Thought:

Let’s help someone make thousands of fresh connections.

 

Rationale:

The brand has already developed creative around the insight with a tagline, “Who says no to Mentos Gum?” Our guess is that it became time to not just share that message through traditional media, but to put that idea to the test in a big way — in a real way, in a social way.

Mentos Gum challenged one college student, Sam, at the University of Wisconsin to make 43,000 fresh connections by giving away 43,000 packs of Mentos Gum in the week before school started — all the while filming the stunt for fun, interesting and sharable content. If Sam completed the task, the school would win a concert with DJ Khaled, courtesy of Mentos Gum.

P.S. If you are wondering why 43,000, that’s the number of students at the University.

Lessons to be learned:

  • Show, don’t tell I’m sure we sound like a broken record here, but real-world tests and demonstrations of the product and brand benefits are often more credible than traditional advertisements. Mentos Gum didn’t just tell us that its product makes fresh connections; it showed it.
  • Social doesn’t just happen behind a phone or computer There’s often an analog component to social campaigns. We often call it “experiential.” Here, Mentos Gum used social to spread the word about this incredible challenge, and even let people that weren’t students at the University of Wisconsin participate by offering tips in exchange for a chance to win concert tickets.
  • Urgency is more newsworthy than evergreen The stunt wouldn’t have been as successful if Sam had been given a year, a semester or a month to complete the challenge. He was given a week, which translated to about five packs a minute. Talk about a challenge! The challenge was risky, but it makes for a better story. No risk, no reward.
  • Don’t be all things to all people Be all things to one person — Mentos Gum went all in with one guy. It makes for a better story as we start to connect with that one dude rather than a bunch of “randos” that are probably paid actors. It not only makes the story more human, but it makes the brand more human, too. 
  • Make it Instagrammable Think about how your booth, pop-up, experience, etc. will look on social. Mentos Gum nailed the oversized trailer with Sam’s face and personal hashtag on it, as well as the mountain of Mentos Gum that he needed to give away.
  • Be spontaneous The whole stunt wasn’t scripted. It’s the unplanned, human and often humorous moments that make this memorable. The viewer doesn’t know what will happen next. After all, the things that are most sharable online are the ones that are often spontaneous, so why not be a little spontaneous and plan for the unplanned?