New-look product sampling through a smart combination of in-store, TV and mobile

Cereal brand Weetabix recently extended into breakfast biscuits called Weetabix On The Go and invited UK consumers to snap up a sample – without leaving their sofa.

On Monday 22 April, the brand invested in a prime-time TV ad slot where it encouraged people to grab their phone to take a photo of the ad. The next day, they could take the picture into a branch of high street retailer Boots – which has 700 outlets across the UK – to claim a free sample of four biscuits.

Weetabix claims to be the first company to trial this Pay-By-Picture technology, which taps into second-screen behaviour (i.e. your phone is usually to hand when you’re watching TV).

The promotion forms part of a £6m ($9.3) marketing campaign for Weetabix On The Go, using the hashtag #takethebiscuit. BBH London, the brand’s ad agency, has also created a TV spot for the new biscuits (above).

Ben Cooper, group brand manager at Weetabix, said: ‘There is huge value in people taking pictures of our new products and sharing the images amongst their friendship groups… It is undoubtedly a brave move to replace financial currency with social currency, but we’re hoping that the 55% of people that currently use their smartphone whilst watching TV will take part in the unique retail initiative, try our new breakfast biscuit and become long-term customers.’


Contagious Insight

This is a really significant example of what can be done by targeting consumers through the two screens in their living rooms to drive footfall in-store. Weetabix has made it really straightforward for people to get involved: there’s no app that needs to be downloaded, all they have to do is point their phone at the screen and take a picture. Easy.

The pay-off for the brand is that Weetabix ends up as a picture on someone’s phone, perhaps alongside other photos of kids, pets and friends. One way in which brands need to tread carefully with mobile advertising is in not being too intrusive because it is such a personal medium. But here, by inviting people to take a picture and then claim a free sample with it, the brand leaves that decision to the consumer. It also enables them to forward the promotion to their friends if they so desire, while also creating a slight sense of urgency (you need to act on this coupon tomorrow).


This is the latest in a series of blog posts from Contagious Feed, a database of the most creative and effective marketing campaigns around. Contagious – a MIP Markets content partner – guides and advises brands and their agencies on competitor activity and future opportunities. More information hereAnd be sure to sign up for the Contagious newsletter here!

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