For many brands, the challenge of how to best engage with
their target market is constrained by Government legislation that either
prevents, or limits, how brand marketing can be executed.
For confectionery brands and other products that are High
fat, sugar and/or salt (HFSS), the UK government has looked to prevent obesity by
encouraging healthy eating and active behaviour. This is also demonstrated
through the industry’s self-regulated restrictions on the advertising of HFSS,
not least the restriction on marketing to consumers under 16 years of age.
More recently (since July 2017) further restrictions have
been placed on the use of digital HFSS adverts, such as ‘advergaming’ and
brands’ own websites. Further restrictions have been added to prevent the use
of licensed characters or celebrities that are popular with children and as we
would expect, given the significant use of social media for consumer targeting,
these restrictions have been extended to include these channels.
This can be particularly frustrating for HFSS brands, who
have their hands tied yet want to create engaging campaigns for their
consumers. Mentos face this same challenge and we worked with them to create
the Mentos Me & You campaign that rewards loyalty by offering the consumer
active rewards such as gym classes and Red Letter Days experiences. MRM
developed the online platform and sourced a range of rewards designed to get
the consumer up and moving and sharing experiences with their friends.
We were asked to pitch for a major infant formula brand, who
have to comply with the UK Regulations on Infant and Follow on Formula and on
Process Cereal Based foods and Baby foods. Whilst this is somewhat of a
mouthful (if you pardon the pun) this legislation prohibits brands from
promoting the use of infant formula to replace breastfeeding. Even with follow
on milk that can be promoted, the brand must be incredibly careful to not
cross-promote infant formula through similar branding or by it not being
obvious the product is for older babies.
However, brands are allowed to provide education to their
target consumers about the developing baby, the importance of mum having a
balanced diet and taking exercise and many brands choose to do this from the
time of pregnancy, realising that the choice of brand is fundamentally
lifecycle marketing targeted at the mum. As with nappies, once a mum has chosen
‘baby’s brand’ the propensity to remain loyal is far greater than with other
products in her weekly shop.
So we come back to the question of what mechanics can be
employed by a brand wishing to engage with its consumers? If you’re fortunate
to not be in one of these ‘tricky’ markets then the world is at your feet and
you can go ‘phygital’ to your hearts content with promotional marketing
mechanics to drive trial, reward purchase and target new consumers.
However, if you are working under restrictions, then we
advise you to use this positively to either educate the consumer (as with baby
clubs, eCRM) or include a twist in your campaign to reward active behaviour as
this will be picked up by social media, deepening customer engagement and
providing some real added value to encourage your audience to promote you
actively amongst their peers. Whatever you decide it is essential to check that
your campaign materials comply with the CAP and BCAP codes.
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