As consumers become more health conscious—especially about their kids—more and more brands are looking for ways to get those little guys excited about getting on board with healthy, tasty snacks and playing that doesn’t involve a game controller.
Healthy fruit-in-a-pouch snack brand GoGo squeeZ, a division of Materne North America, has launched the Pass the Play (PTP) program across all its experiential marketing this year to encourage outdoor play, teach and reward sharing, and above all, give kids a chance to discover how delicious and easy fruit can be.
GoGo squeeZ’s first execution is centered on a little green ball. The program is designed to advocate social, active play among children and distribute samples of the brand’s healthy snack via a 10-stop mobile tour, proprietary soccer matches and a network of mommy and daddy bloggers to garner some online buzz. The brand is sending product and green balls to its parent blogger network throughout the country to help promote the program. It also asked them to pass the ball to their kids and their kids’ friends.
The tactics are deceptively simple. Each of the 10,000 balls has a number, which recipients register online, either on-site at live events on the brand’s tablets with the help of the GoGo squeeZ brand ambassadors or at home, online. Then the kids simply play with the ball. But that’s not all, because the next step is the crucial one. The children are encouraged to play with the balls, yes, but also to share them. After a few days enjoying the ball, the kids will ideally “pass the play” along to a friend or member of the family, who goes online to re-register it, creating a traceable trail that Materne hopes will crisscross the country, with balls in play for months on end.
“This is a playful snack and it liberates kids to play because they can have it away from the table and we want to encourage that,” says Meena Mansharamani, managing director at Materne North America. “Our core mission is to encourage kids to ‘always play’ and the GoGo squeeZ tour is all about bringing play to families and about going outside” (handled by: Inspira Marketing Group, Norwalk, CT and LeadDog Marketing Group, New York City).
For live interactions, the brand is staging “Kick It” three-on-three soccer tournaments for kids and hitting the road with a new mobile tour truck equipped as a playground. The tour began on May 26 in Atlanta and will hit Bentonville, AR, Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Nashville, Readington, NJ and San Francisco before it wraps on Aug. 10 in New York City. Materne is handing out the PTP green balls at the soccer events, Costco, Target, Walmart, Whole Foods and other retail partners and at the mobile playground stops. Once the balls are in the kids’ hands, and registered, the real magic begins.
Registration enters the kids in a contest to win prizes, and each time the ball gets shared, each kid is entered to win more prizes. Online, the brand has deployed a pass tracker social extension that lets participants follow their balls on a virtual map anywhere they go in the world and a leader board for which balls have been passed the most and the farthest. On Facebook, kids are encouraged to invent and share new games played with the green ball. In addition, the brand is raising money for the Fresh Air Fund charity at its events, hoping to hit $25,000 this summer.
All this adds up to a comprehensive strategy of live interactions and brand growth. And Materne says it’s not a one-off, either. The brand is looking at this summer as a test case for expanding the Pass the Play strategy to more events. We say, pass it our way. EM