Dentyne Ice kisses up to teens with party promo

Agency/Media Company: Bates Canada Client: Warner-Lambert Canada (Adams Brands) Brand: Dentyne Ice Media Team: Lynn Mayer, vice-president, director of planning; Cheryl Fryer, media supervisor Timing: April 26, 1999 to December 31, 1999 Best Plan for a Budget of Less...

Agency/Media Company: Bates Canada

Client: Warner-Lambert Canada (Adams Brands)

Brand: Dentyne Ice

Media Team: Lynn Mayer, vice-president, director of planning; Cheryl Fryer, media supervisor

Timing: April 26, 1999 to December 31, 1999

Best Plan for a Budget of Less Than $1 Million

Best Use of Radio

Best Plan Overall: Runner-up

Best Use of Television: Runner-up

Best Use of Interactive Media: Runner-up

Best Use of Newspaper: Second Runner-up

The Background

In the spring of 1999, romance was in the air. Dentyne Ice – a gum that, for teenagers and young adults, has become the coolest way to freshen your breath for romantic possibilities – was poised to launch its most ambitious and integrated consumer promotion ever.

A multi-tiered initiative, this promotion was designed to drive both brand awareness and sales, while further entrenching brand loyalty with the core target. Seamless, integrated communication via carefully selected media vehicles and promotional partners was key to its success.

Given the fickle and elusive nature of the audience, it was critical to understand how and where they spend their time, and which communication vehicles were available to reach them in the most high-impact and meaningful ways throughout their day. Inspired by Bates Canada’s ‘be where they are’ approach, Dentyne Ice enticed consumers to ‘Kiss & Tell’ – to explain, in 35 words or less, what they did to land their dream guy or girl. The prize? A chance to groove to a secret band at an ‘underground’ party.

To pull off this ambitious effort, Dentyne Ice turned to a trio of indispensable communications partners: MuchMusic, MusiquePlus and HMV.

The Plan

Building rapid awareness of the contest was a key objective. During the four-week promotional window, spots produced by MuchMusic/MusiquePlus aired at high frequency, supplemented with VJ chatter. Regular brand-sell spots also ran on both networks, to further entrench Dentyne Ice with the core target.

Speaker’s Corner video booths helped to reinforce the concept of ‘kissing and telling,’ and provided an interactive mode of entry. Eight booths, co-branded with Dentyne Ice and MuchMusic/MusiquePlus, were placed in HMV stores over the course of an eight-week, 12-city national tour. The involvement of HMV, arguably the pre-eminent music retailer in this country, served to complement the partnership with Canada’s music stations, added relevance to the ‘underground party’ prize and helped extend the ‘Kiss & Tell’ communication to a venue where the target audience spends considerable time and money.

In an effort to further leverage HMV’s in-store environment, ‘Kiss & Tell’ posters were displayed prominently, and rack cards placed in the vicinity of the ‘secret’ band’s CDs. In addition, Dentyne Ice postcards featuring details of the promotion were stuffed into shoppers’ bags.

MuchMusic/MusiquePlus brought even more to the promotion with the creation of a ‘Kiss & Tell’ micro site. This site offered consumers another interactive point of entry, along with a full description of the contest and its rules and regulations. To entice consumers to keep returning to the site, the best entries were posted on a weekly basis throughout the duration of the promotion. And it was on the micro site where the identity of the secret band was first revealed: Wide Mouth Mason.

By the time the 10 grand prize winners were finally announced, during the live broadcast of the MuchMusic Video Awards on Sept. 23, excitement had grown to a fever pitch. Real footage from the Speaker’s Corner video booths had been used to refresh the promotional spots on a weekly basis, and to provide inspiration to those who had not yet entered. In addition, a crawl was superimposed on the brand-sell spots to force tuning to the Video Awards. Dentyne Ice virtually owned this latter property, by virtue of the 12 spots that ran throughout the broadcast, on both the English and French networks.

Local market communications directed to the 15-24 age group supplemented the MuchMusic/ MusiquePlus/HMV efforts. To heighten awareness and create a sense of urgency, four-week radio flights were purchased in the 12 cities where the ‘Kiss & Tell’ video booths toured. Individual promotions were negotiated with the primary teen/young adult station in each market, offering listeners the chance to win two tickets to the ‘Kiss & Tell’ underground party.

In addition, urban weeklies in 11 of the 12 markets carried small-space teasers, followed by a page-dominant, four-colour ad communicating the promotional concept and details, and listing the HMV tour locations and dates.

A final, critical communications element was the pack itself. More than 22 million packs of Dentyne Ice carried the distinctive ‘Kiss & Tell’ contest logo, along with the MuchMusic/MusiquePlus logos and contest details. In addition, the pack highlighted a 1-877 line that consumers could call for HMV tour dates, and directed them to the micro site for complete contest details.

The Results

The ‘Kiss & Tell’ promotion proved highly successful in driving awareness and usage. Continuous tracking showed a 10% increase in unaided brand awareness, and a 13% increase in past-four-week brand usage. The promotion was a major contributor to the brand’s double-digit growth in sales over the previous year.

In all, nearly 15,000 consumers shared their romantic stories – and more than 70% of them entered either through the Speaker’s Corner video booths or via the micro site. The 10 winners, each of whom was permitted to bring nine close friends, were flown to Toronto, where they enjoyed an exclusive bash at the Reverb with Wide Mouth Mason. As for whether there were romantic goings-on at the party – well, no one was kissing and telling.

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* Much VJ follows his Natural Instincts on air p.BMP12

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* The Judges p.BMP43

Corner Officer Shifts: Martin Fecko leaves Tangerine

Plus, PointsBet Canada and Thinkific name new marketing leaders as Lole gets a new ecommerce VP.
Corner Office

Martin Fecko departs Tangerine 

After roughly two years of serving as Tangerine’s chief marketing officer, Martin Fecko has a new gig. And this time, the financial services vet will apply his marketing leadership to a new sector, having been named CMO of Dentalcorp.

Fecko will lead the dental network’s end-to-end patient journey, support its overall growth, and work to maximize patient experiences across every touchpoint, the company said in a release.

“Martin’s in-depth expertise in engaging and retaining customers through a digitally enabled experience will be valuable in realizing our vision to be Canada’s most trusted healthcare network,” said Dentalcorp president Guy Amini.

Prior to joining Scotiabank’s digital-only banking brand in late-2019, Fecko was country manager for Intuit Canada and spent 10 years at American Express in consumer and digital marketing.

PointsBet Canada nabs former Bell marketer as it pursues expansion

Dave Rivers has joined PointsBet, an online gaming and sports betting operator, as Canadian VP of marketing.

Rivers joins from Bell, where he was most recently director of brand marketing and sponsorship, responsible for driving the company’s national sponsorship strategy and portfolio. He will report to PointsBet Canada chief commercial officer Nic Sulsky.

According to Sulsky, Rivers will “play a key role as we prepare to launch a business that is unique to our roots here in Canada.”

PointsBet has a significant presence in Australia, where it was founded, and in the U.S. In July, it named Scott Vanderwel, a former SVP at Rogers, as CEO of its Canadian subsidiary, one of several hires aimed at establishing the company’s presence locally.

Thinkific names first CMO among other executive appointments

Vancouver’s Thinkific, a platform for creating, marketing and selling online courses, has appointed Henk Campher as its first chief marketing officer as it invests in marketing to support its growth plans. It has also upped Chris McGuire to the role of chief technology officer and moved former CTO and co-founder Matt Payne into the new role of SVP of innovation.

Co-founder and CEO Greg Smith said Campher and McGuire “will play key roles building high-functioning teams around them and optimizing investment as we continue to carve out an increasingly prominent and differentiated position in the global market.”

Campher joins from Hootsuite, where he was VP of corporate marketing. Before that, he was VP of brand and communications at CRM giant Salesforce.

Lolë names new VP of digital omni-commerce as parent company exits bankruptcy protection

The Montreal-based athletic apparel and accessories retailer has appointed Rob French as VP of digital omni-commerce.

French will lead Lolë’s efforts in consumer insights, supply chain-to-consumer models and online customer journeys. In what is a new role for the company, he will also work to grow the company’s retail brand. He arrives with sixteen years experience in ecommerce, having spent the last few years as chief digital commerce officer at sporting goods retailer Decathlon.

In May 2020, Lolë parent Coalision Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection, citing several years of losses as a result of a downturn in the retail clothing market, increased competition and excess inventory – problems exacerbated by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time of the filing, Coalision was seeking an investor or purchaser of its assets.

It successfully exited bankruptcy protection last year and is currently rebuilding its executive team, according to a spokesperson.