Kernel Season’s® Brand of popcorn seasoning was looking to spice things up for popcorn consumers. The national brand is sold in fun plastic bottles whereby consumers can shake the flavored seasoning directly on ready-to-eat popcorn. However, the marketing team wanted to jump start brand awareness and consumer engagement during the summer months (July through September) just before the category's seasonal sales pick up.
KPIs AND TARGETS (using a budget under $500K)
greater than 10 MM Impressions
greater than 5 MM Engagements
greater than 100,000 Website Clicks
less than $8 CPM
greater than 10% Ad Recall Lift Rate
Kernel Season's consumer is female, age 25-54, and loves exploring food and flavors, eating light snacks like popcorn, shopping for the latest kitchen appliances, doing family activities, listening to music, dancing and creating TikTok videos. From existing A&U studies we knew that 70% of popcorn eaters weren’t using seasoning, largely driven by unfamiliarity with the popcorn seasoning category. Also, the fun flavors and varieties were an important decision factor in purchase to drive brand growth.
We keyed in on Kernel Season's social media presence and the opportunity to leverage User-Generated Content (UGC). The brand is active on several social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, where they post photos, recipe videos, product demos, giveaways, and consumer stories.
User-generated content can increase engagement. By allowing consumers to share their experiences, we can create a personal connection and increase the likelihood of people sharing their content. Also, user-generated content can help to spread the word about the Kernel Season's brand and reach new customers. With more people seeing and sharing the content, we can gain greater brand recognition. By harnessing UGC, people are more likely to purchase from a brand that they feel connected to, and user-generated content can help to create that connection.
Our big idea was partnering with superstar TikTok influencers, Cost n’ Mayor, to create the Shake On Top to Make Every Moment Pop Dance Contest, delivering excitement and UGC engagement with Kernel Season's popcorn product.
Cost n’ Mayor is a popular TikTok influencer duo, consisting of twins Cost and Mayor. They have gained a large following for their comedic content and lip-sync videos. They also post dance challenges, skits, and other entertaining content on their TikTok and Instagram channels.
Beginning with a summertime brand awareness foundation, we ran advertising and promoted branded content to support the Shake on Top to "Make Every Moment Pop" campaign. We launched with a set of "Me Time", "Family Time", and "Friends Time" themed creative ads. We refreshed the content in August with a stronger Summertime theme, encouraging outdoor snacking and get-togethers. In September, new Back-to-School themed ads were launched to encourage lunch & snacking ideas.
Then on TikTok we launched the #MakeEveryMomentPop Dance Challenge. It was divided into three phases: 1) WARM UP to drive interest in the upcoming contest, 2) ENTRY to drive action with Consumer-Generated Content (videos), and 3) VOTING to support additional participation.
Cost n’ Mayor created a brand-centric, fun and energetic dance for people to mimic when submitting their video entries on the website. They wrote custom Kernel Season's lyrics, music and choreographed new dance moves specifically around the brand and product, shaking it on top to "Make Every Moment Pop". Both an instructional dance video and a final dance contest video were published, inviting fans to enter their video for the chance to win a $5,000 Best Buy gift card and Kernel Season's product. The branded videos were also published and promoted across both the @CostnMayor pages and @KernelSeasons social media pages.
Make Every Moment Pop Dance Contest
Unexpected brand engagement came from Caitlin Gradl, reality television personality (best known on MTV), who shared a series of posts in support of the campaign. Also, Bru and the Books, the popular indie folk-pop duo, shared a series of posts, too!
Over 20 million impressions
Nearly 10 million engagements
9.6 million video views
260,000 click-throughs to website
12% Ad Recall Lift-Rate
3,900 video-contest registrations, and 21,000 votes
With the help of User-generated content, the TikTok campaign encouraged delicious snacking while shaking up the popcorn category and exceeded all KPIs across the board.
And the butter-on-top was double digital % sales increase year-over-year for the brand!