While you were asleep, tucked up in your warm little beds, a war was raging: the World’s Worst War. I’m not talking about the bunfight over the Springbook emblem. I’m talking about the battle for supremacy between Satan Jorquia and Tyrant Habanero.
Tohato is a Japanese snack company famed for its spicy snacks. To promote the launch of their latest products, they created a fictional war between the two flavours. And the soldiers would be the public. Consumers were encouraged to purchase their favourite flavour and align themselves with the relevant mascots by registering using their QR-tech (barcode-scanner) enabled cellphones. Starting out as a private in the army, users would advance by recruiting friends – much like a pyramid scheme. The battles were fought via the mobile networks on over 20 battlefields with colourful names like “Shadap Bay”, “Sweet Sucker’s Execution Hall” and “OUCH, the city of Anal Torture” (WTF?) – with added value interactions like Live Battlefield-Report text messages (who had died in battle, who had been promoted, which battlefield had been captured), limited edition wallpapers etc.
It worked so well that the players were hooking up on social networks to plan their strategies! Sales increased and activity of up to 100, 000 page views per day was registered. Always-on, personalised and alive on-and off-line, it’s no wonder that Japanese ad agency Hakuhodo won a Yellow Pencil award this year for this campaign.
Below is a rundown video of the campaign so you can get an idea of the look and feel.
Yup. That’s how you use social marketing. Now imagine they had to do that with an ATL campaign featuring two local sports personalities. Not exactly as engaging is it? Tyrant Habanero FTW!