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Sweet success


Sweet success


Campaign: Maxibon Man-Chew

Client: Nestlé Peters Ice-Cream

Agency: Publicis Mojo, Melbourne

2011 IAB Awards – Cross-Platform Integration Winner


Publicis Mojo hit the sweet spot with its seemingly effortless integrated campaign for Nestlé Peters Ice-Cream and its Maxibon Man-Chew, wowing the judges in the IAB 2011 Awards.

Key to their admiration was the way the campaign created real water cooler conversation among its target audience and beyond, which, as one judge noted, “is surely the holy grail of any integrated campaign”. It was felt that one of the factors that contributed to this success was the attention to detail that Publicis Mojo had to each element of activity. While it was huge fun, it was recognised that the precision of the execution paid dividends.

The judges also admired the way that while every single activity linked back to the product and its unique qualities, it managed to be irreverent and entertaining in its own right. This clearly resonated with its target audience based on the upswing in sales and the number of times the infomercial was reposted and shared via social media tools. The fact that the TV advertisement had the feel of a viral YouTube video was recognised with one judge commenting, “their tone of voice was impeccable and what better endorsement is there that words like ‘jawsome’ have now entered the lexicon of the target audience”.


Peters’ Maxibon is a substantial ice-cream sandwich snack for hungry 18- to 25-year-old guys comprising ice-cream, biscuits, nuts and chocolate. Its brand tagline, ‘For biters not lickers’, supports its size, the way it’s eaten and its attitude to life. In 2010, Maxibon’s position within the ice confectionary market was under attack from Streets, which had recently gone to market with a ‘me too’ Magnum ice-cream sandwich, backing its launch with considerable dollars.

Maxibon was beginning to lose its defining brand humour and was in danger of being overshadowed by Magnum and its marketing activities. Publicis Mojo was therefore tasked with increasing the spontaneous awareness of Maxibon, reasserting Maxibon at the top of the food chain, reinforcing Maxibon’s position as an ice-cream ‘renegade’, building brand affinity with its target audience, activating the brand promise via an integrated campaign and ultimately driving the purchase of Maxibon at key snacking venues.


Research confirmed that 18- to 25-year-old males wanted to laugh and be entertained by irreverent, unusual content and this became the starting point for the campaign. In order to re-establish the humour that had once defined Maxibon, the campaign was devised around the precept that young guys themselves had changed and were becoming soft. They were consuming too much ‘girly’ food like salad, soup and soft serve ice-cream, and not enough man-food like Maxibon. As a result, they were becoming ‘Lickers’ when they should all aspire to become ‘Biters’.

The campaign therefore sought to give them a way of reclaiming their manhood and get them ‘biting’ again – so they could get in shape to eat more Maxibon. Enter Publicis Mojo’s concept of the Man-Chew, the first ever chew toy for men, specially designed to help them exercise their jaw and build up their bite to conquer Maxibon.


A 90- and 30-second infomercial preaching the benefits of the Man-Chew drove the target to a dedicated m-site where the Man-Chew was redeemable with a Maxibon product barcode. The use of a spoof infomercial using an exaggerated male voiceover allowed a hyperbolised product demonstration of the unique qualities of Maxibon with the offbeat humour that the target audience demanded. The campaign took ‘maleness’ to new levels introducing new words such as ‘chindominals’ and ‘jawceps’ to the Australian male lexicon.

Television was used to help drive the reach required for awareness and to drive consumers to the Man-Chew m-site where they could claim their chew toy. Outdoor posters were strategically situated in and around petrol and convenience stores and selected route locations, to serve as reminders to the target audience on their path to purchase and extend recognition.

Point of sale then drove appetite appeal and purchase in key retail outlets. Digital was added to the mix to surprise, interrupt and extend awareness. As the target audience are high consumers of digital content, careful consideration was given to ensure the correct context and position of adverts, with gaming networks, video sites (YouTube, music sites) and sports sites targeted. Adverts were positioned in dominant page environments with large interruptive units.


On day one of the campaign, the 90-second commercial was 100 percent viewed more than 1.4 million times on YouTube and by day three the 4800 Man-Chews were sold out.

This prompted a further element to the campaign when the reserve stash of 100 Man-Chews were offered to men who were willing to beg for them. The infomercial and website were revised to ask guys to tell, in 25 words or fewer, why they deserved a Man-Chew. Even with this more complex mechanic, results continued to surpass expectations. As of 18 April 2011, a further 1563 people had pleaded their case at the website, including entries from women trying to turn their boyfriends and husbands into Biters.

The ability to turn this potential negative into an overwhelmingly positive aspect of the campaign and invite further connection with and investment in the brand was very well-regarded, with one of the judges noting, “I loved the further value extracted by inviting men to beg for the Man-Chews”.

The infomercial has been reposted across the web, talked about in forums and shared many times over Facebook and Twitter with POS posters ‘disappearing’ from retail outlets.

The digital campaign reached over 2.7 million unique browsers, with a total of 401,930 interactions from the banners recorded. This represents an average interaction rate of 16.7 percent, smashing the industry benchmark of 2.54 percent. Digital banners delivered a strong click-through rate (CTR) of .22 percent, more than three times the benchmark (0.07 percent).

Maxibon sales increased by 65 percent in the first week of the campaign, and averaged out at 25 percent in the month following launch, when compared to the same period in 2010. Maxibon’s market share in the petrol and convenience channel (a prime shopping destination for our target) increased from 13.5 percent of the impulse snacking segment (pre-campaign) to 24.8 percent following the campaign. Although primarily targeted at consumers within the impulse channel, the campaign also produced impressive effects in the grocery channel, with share of the premium market place segment increasing 56 percent from 2.3 percent to 3.6 percent.

Furthermore, the campaign has had a positive impact on the all-important baseline sales measure (sales generated during non-promotional periods) in both channels, suggesting strong demand for the brand despite promotional forces within the category.




Belle Kwan

Assistant editor, Marketing magazine & marketingmag.com.au A marketer's dream who believes everything she sees on TV. Advertising is not evil, it is an artform and a science.

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