Applying International Advertising Innovation to U.S. CPG Brands

Marketing to Millennials is a challenge to say the least. The traditional campaigns that have worked for years no longer apply. The major game changer: technology. Technology is not only changing our everyday lives, but how we market to our consumers. The best part? Millennials love it!

By embracing technology, brands can stand out, embrace new consumers and better engage current consumers. Millennials want more than just interaction with your product in the grocery aisle. They want you to be part of their lives and experiences.

So how do you do it? Think outside the box—or package—for some products. It’s all about being innovative and allowing your brand to have a techy side. Brands all over, including outside the U.S., are showing off their products via technology in highly innovative ways. Although many of these brands are not CPG brands, they can give us insight into how to successfully navigate technology-enhanced advertising.

Below are two of my favorites and I’ll talk about what they did right that can be applied to your CPG brand:

1. Fan Check Machine

Fan Check Machine from Billboard

Billboard’s Fan Check Machine rewarded music lovers in Brazil with a free copy of Billboard magazine. Fans plugged their iPhones or iPods into the machine, which analyzed the device to see if they were a “true fan” based on the songs on the device. The “true fans” received a free copy of the magazine.

Billboard rewarded their strong customer base in an innovative and interactive way. Not only is their Fan Check Machine cool but it also helps raise awareness of their brand and reach customers on a one-on-one basis. Billboard connected with their audience through technology, which engaged them in a hands-on way.

This campaign shows that if a magazine can utilize technology in a creative way, so can a CPG brand.

2. Yawn for Free Coffee

Douwe Egberts Coffee

Douwe Egberts, a South African coffee company, developed a coffee machine that dispenses a free cup of coffee to a yawning consumers through facial recognition. The company placed the machine strategically where consumers need it the most: the airport.

What a great way to not only increase consumer interaction but to help with product conversion rates! Getting your product in front of the consumer is critical, and what better way to do product samples then through new technology?


Brad is an expert in private label and challenger brand food marketing for Barkley, an integrated marketing and advertising agency. He specializes in working with manufacturing-driven food companies that have aspirations to develop a consumer insight-led strategies to help drive innovation and growth.

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