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Unilever’s Knorr powers in-store giveaway with mobile

January 8, 2014

Unilever's campaign

Unilever’s Knorr brand is targeting Hispanic shoppers via an in-store promotion linking mobile to a World Cup soccer toy figure giveaway.

The promotion is part of a larger campaign aimed at marketing the Knorr flavoring and other Knorr products to Spanish and English speakers who live nearby and shop at the Northgate Markets stores in Southern California. Historically, marketers have targeted demographic groups and communicated with them in their native languages, and now they are doing that via mobile.

“We’re doing a Spanish campaign because 95 percent of [Northgate Markets’] customers are Spanish speaking,” said Jonas Hudson, co-founder and chief operating officer at CausePlay, Manhattan Beach, CA. “This is the future of how campaigns will be launched in Hispanic communities.

“How does Knorr get more shelf space?” he said. “It’s not going to be with a Super Bowl ad.

“It’s going to be more unique to this market.”

Knorr worked with CausePlay on the campaign.

In-store interaction
The promotion involves placing vending machines in participating Northgate Markets. The glass front of the vending machine functions much like a mobile device’s touch screen.

After purchasing Knorr chicken flavor bouillon at a Northgate Market, a consumer will type a code from the receipt and his or her mobile phone number into the Knorr vending machine.

The vending machine will then disperse a two-inch toy figure, one of three World Cup soccer players, either Lionel Andres Messi of Argentina’s team, Neymar of Brazil’s or Javier “Chicharito” Hernández of Mexico’s.

Northgate Markets already has done one non-mobile giveaway with one of the three figurines.

The mobile promotion is expected to help Knorr and Northgate Markets build a database of consumers’ mobile numbers.

Neighborhood marketing
This will help Knorr as it markets its products to consumers who live nearby and shop frequently at the store.

Knorr, which is owned by Unilever, features products that are popular staples in Spanish speakers’ homes, according to Mr. Hudson.

For example, many people of Hispanic heritage add chicken flavor bouillon to their savory dishes.

Knorr seeks to have those consumers buy its bouillon, not another maker’s.

As the Spanish-speaking population in the United States grows and gains power, marketers are findings ways to target and track it.

Last fall, Flurry examined the mobile behavior of Spanish speakers in the United States and their marketing impact.

The report found that 15 percent of all the apps that Flurry tracks attract a significant portion of Spanish speakers (see story).

Marketers track what consumer groups like, such as the Knorr chicken flavor bouillon.

“It’s a big Hispanic food additive and it’s [also] big in Europe,” Mr. Hudson said. “[And with] the Latino population in the states, it’s literally like every Hispanic kitchen would have that product in it.”

Final Take
Kari Jensen is staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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Kari Jensen is staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer, New York. Reach her at

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