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Quaker Oats shakes up social media with oatmeal-creation contest

PepsiCo?s Quaker Oats brand is rolling out Promoted Tweets prompting consumers to visit a campaign microsite on their smartphones where they can combine ingredients to design a new oatmeal flavor, showcasing how marketers can augment awareness by asking fans for direct input on products.

Quaker Oats is sponsoring targeted posts on Twitter to reach consumers on mobile with an interactive sweepstakes, displaying how a consumer packaged goods marketer can break through noise on social media to promote customer interaction. The brand?s Bring Your Best Bowl campaign encourages entrants to create an enticing bowl of oatmeal with two to five ingredients for a chance to win $250,000 and inspire Quaker?s newest oatmeal flavor.

?Quaker?s contest is a smart way for a food CPG brand to ramp up customer interaction on mobile,? said Marci Troutman, CEO of Siteminis. ?With a contest where the winner can not only gain a monetary prize, but can also have his or her recipe inspire the newest flavor addition for the brand, is a great mix.?

Adding garnish to mobile
While many CPG brands have historically invested their mobile budgets into text-to-win campaigns and print advertising, Quaker is attempting to break the mold by incorporating an interactive element into its latest promotion.

Targeted Twitter users may see an ad for the sweepstakes pop up in their feeds, encouraging them to follow the link to the microsite. Consumers who do not use social media may visit the mobile-optimized site on their smartphone browsers instead.

Quaker then instructs individuals to create their best bowl of oatmeal using two to five ingredients. The winner will receive a $250,000 prize, as well as the chance for their creation to inspire the brand?s newest oatmeal flavor.

The first submission step requires participants to select milk or water as the base for their bowl. Then, consumers must write in a minimum of two ingredients ? and a maximum of five ? using the fill-in fields, which will auto-populate with options as entrants begin typing.

Once users have inputted all of the ingredients, they will be brought to another page that asks them to name the oatmeal flavor, and tell Quaker what inspired the submission.

The last step of the process requires entrants to confirm their submission by entering their email or signing into Facebook.

One way of spreading awareness for the contest even further would be to offer users a pre-written social media post to disperse across Facebook or Twitter to announce their contest participation. For instance, individuals could Tweet out the ingredients chosen for their best bowl creation, in the hopes of encouraging friends and family to do the same.

Quaker is also set to ramp up awareness of its oatmeal products. Rather than rely on a standard ad campaign on social media, the brand is forcing consumers to think about their favorite breakfast ingredients, which could prompt them to purchase a box of Quaker oatmeal the next time they are shopping for groceries.

The CPG marketer is also demonstrating that it values its fans? input when it comes to creating new products and flavors.

The Bring Your Best Bowl campaign runs through March 12, 2016.

Quaker should also ensure that it continues branching out to all facets of mobile when it comes to pinpointing new advertising tactics.

?In Quaker's omnichannel digital promotion, Twitter is relegated to a simple media buy,? said Gary Schwartz, president and CEO of Impact Mobile. ?Quaker, like many CPGs, is using Twitter's customer targeting services (keyword, demographic, intent, etc.) to generate click-through. 

?However, brands need to tackle each channel as a separate engagement opportunity. While uniquely customizing each channel is not easy and requires more brand resources; the ROI justifies this added effort.?

Breaking the mold
Last year, Quaker rolled out an innovative mobile ad campaign leveraging hot spots to highlight noteworthy ingredients such as quinoa, pecans and flax in a way that is easily digestible as well as memorable for on-the-go consumers (see story).

Other similar marketers have also been foraying deeper into mobile marketing recently, highlighting the vast potential for reaching optimal audiences on their smartphones.

Nestle?s Poland Spring brand has teamed up with Amazon?s fashion sales site MyHabit on a mobile-optimized travel and shopping guide for Maine, pairing inspirational content with several different commerce opportunities (see story).

Quaker is likely to experience a solid amount of participation in the campaign, partly due to the recipe-creation aspect.

?Food CPG brands know better than anyone that recipes are a hot ticket item in pursuing that viral effect of a seamlessly executed promotion,? Siteminis' Ms. Troutman said.