Market: Supermarkets - Program: Food Sample

As part of a recent campaign to increase the popularity of mayonnaise in South American countries, Hellmann’s and advertising agency Ogilvy Brazil created the Food Slot. Hellmann’s slot machines were strategically planted in supermarket chains, grocery stores and bars around Brazil, and consumers were invited to pull the lever to watch the machine randomly combine different ingredients in the display. For each one of the 280 combinations, the machine gave the shoppers a collectible branded recipe and a food sample made with the mayonnaise, displayed on a logoed Hellmann’s tray.

Each shopper that played walked away with tasty treats and newfound knowledge of how to use Hellmann’s mayonnaise in everyday meals. The slots distributed an estimated 350 samples and recipes per day, making the campaign a huge hit with the people of Brazil. Some lucky winners even hit the jackpot. The prize was an armful of real Hellmann’s mayonnaise jars.

The idea of providing consumers with recipes that call for the Hellmann’s brand has worked well. In 2012, Ogilvy Brazil installed software in 100 supermarket cash registers that allowed the machines to recognize a Hellmann’s purchase, and combine it with the rest of the products the customer bought to print a custom recipe. Each recipe contained all the ingredients the customer purchased plus instructions on how to prepare the meal using Hellmann’s mayonnaise. This same idea of broadening the use of mayonnaise proved to be a successful trick for increasing sales. In the first month alone, sales increased 44% and thousands of recipes were printed, teaching people how to use Hellmann’s to prepare salads, meats, sauces, pastas and sandwiches.

Biz Tip

If you’re trying to help launch a new product, or simply raise awareness of an existing item, think about using samples to draw attention. Food samples and recipes are a logical fit for food items. For new apparel, consider offering a gift with purchase. If you’re helping launch a new bank, offer higher-end money clips and wallets to the first visitors.