Mobile platform developer helps Chiquita boost brand engagement

While you might think brand engagement is only successful when it’s driven by either a physical product or a digital one, FunMobility has paired the two for an enhanced experience that’s paid dividends for its marketing partner, Chiquita bananas.

FunMobility, a mobile engagement platform that focuses on brand-to-audience products, designed a mobile-based interactive sweepstakes around the company’s flagship fruit that banked on bananas’ popularity and their sudden association with Universal Pictures’ Minions characters. Customers used their mobile phones to scan special produce labels that carried them to an app-like experience. This online promotion featured instant-win digital content, rewards and a trip to London.

Chiquita Minions Sticker Scanner 2 web

“The Chiquita Banana stickers are the most visible branded fruit packaging in grocery stores,” says FunMobility founder Adam Lavine. “Our goal was to capitalize on this brand recognition and make a digital connection to the popular Minions.”

The lead time for the project was 180 days, with app construction beginning halfway through, says Lavine. To ensure a premium experience and the right product, Lavine says the best thing partners like Chiquita can provide his team with is trust. “Chiquita has worked with FunMobility for several years, and they trusted our ability to execute on this project,” he said. “We also needed creative participation and signoff from Universal Studios, because the Minions characters figured so prominently into this promotion.”

FunMobility-Chiquita-Minions-Sweepstakes web

Combining a physical product with a mobile-based engagement campaign brought Chiquita a 50-percent return rate, with one in five mobile visitors “opting in” to receive awards. More than half those opt-ins have translated to new subscribers to Chiquita’s interactive newsletter, which is also produced by FunMobility.

“We monitor every user session as well as the discovery point across paid, owned, in-store and social media,” Lavine explains. “We track individual user activity so we don’t give out the same prize more than once to an individual user. We also track aggregate audience data and flow everything into Google Analytics.”

The target audience, mothers with young children, generated 75 percent of on-site traffic and activity. What’s more, the campaign’s reach extended across several digital touch points, including a downloadable Chiquita fan app and a movie-related web experience.

On average, the FunMobility crew recorded “very good” session times and repeat user rates, says Lavine. “The two factors that drove this were 1) the instant-win mechanism, and 2) users wanted to collect the 32 unique Minions stickers that were on over 500 million Chiquita bananas.”

Lavine says the concept is “exciting, because a globally-recognized consumer packaged good is changing up the in-store shopper experience by embedding digital content, prizes, and rewards into a physical product, the Chiquita Bananas. There has been an amazing response to the mobile games, real-time engagement and overall experience.”

Combining physical and digital products for a campaign is not without its pitfalls. Lavine says these can be avoided by launching campaigns that resonate with target audiences and encourage them to engage with the brand.

“The biggest pitfall is creating a campaign nobody cares about. Because mobile execution can be very challenging for certain companies or vendors, marketers sometimes have a ‘touchdown’ mentality—meaning the campaign was a success because everything worked,” he explains.

Mobile Marketing Agency FunMobility web

“Building on this thought, have a mobile ‘call-to-action’ that the consumer actually cares about. Nobody wants to ‘join the mobile club.’ Consumers care about free stuff, the chance to win sweepstakes, unique experiences and their friends.  Ask yourself ‘What’s in it for them?’ when you’re crafting your call to action.”


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Online Engagement Perk: Profits from the collection, which is sold through the Big Mac Shop online, are used to support Ronald McDonald House Charities.

The Brand: Pizza Hut

The Product: The flavors that make Pizza Hut popular were the inspiration for a line of limited-edition nail polishes, to be given away on Valentine’s Day to winners of a pizza poetry contest held in Australia this year.

Online Engagement Perk: Winners of the poetry contest, which was promoted via social media channels, saw their work publicized on Pizza Hut’s Facebook page.

The Brand: Frito-Lay

The Product: Lay’s potato chips were given a crowdsourced makeover via social media, through the Do Us a Flavor campaign that first launched in 2012 and has become an annual event. Consumers submit flavor ideas through Facebook, Twitter or text message, and a handful are selected as finalists. The company produces those flavors for a last-call vote from consumers.

Online Engagement Perk: Consumers learn that Frito-Lay values their opinions and appreciates their role in product development; and, the contest winners receive a $1 million prize or one percent of the winning flavor’s net sales.

Sources: Paste magazine,