Every Fall, 43,000 students swarm the University of Wisconsin, Madison campus and Mentos saw an opportunity to promote Mentos Gum by engaging their core audience through an activation. The challenge was how to transform the local event into a global outreach. Mentos targeted college students who were highly active on social media.
Mentos recruited incoming freshman Sam J to be a brand ambassador for the activation and his task was to hand out 43,000 packs of Mentos in 6 days to 43,000 of his closest friends. As Sam handed out product at each of the 31 activation sites on campus he started to build a local celebrity status. By creating fun and heartfelt video stories of Sam engaging with students he became a likable character which easily translated on social media. As Mentos used every social media channel available, playing to each channel’s strength, Sam local celebrity status quickly became a global phenomena. Students couldn’t wait to see what Sam did next. #SamhasMentosgum
The campaign was a major success as Sam gave out all 43,000 bottles of Mentos Gum and DJ Khaled gave a free concert. Working round the clock the team shot 31 videos, edited and uploaded them to social with the first video alone capturing 2 million views on the first day. Sam became a local phenonmena and very quickly a global one as tens of millions of Mentos loyalists caught on. Sales spiked 30% within that 10 day period and stayed in the positive through the following months. The success of this activation changed the way Mentos marketed themselves.
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