Chiquita Re-Invents the Modern Sweepstakes: Opt-Ins, Engagement, Retention

FunMobility Chiquita Minions Mobile Marketing Agency

Sweepstakes + Mobile Engagement: Re-thinking What’s Possible

Brands have been using sweepstakes to drive lead generation ever since that first primitive marketer crawled out of the primordial ooze. And, just as marketers themselves evolved — going from single-celled promotional protozoa to the sophisticated digital wizards of today — so too did sweeps campaigns. With proper mobile-first execution, today’s digital sweepstakes can go beyond simply driving conversions & bringing in new leads — they can foster repeat engagement, new forms of database segmentation, and long-term consumer retention.

Michael Becker, the co-founder of mCordis, said something to me the other day that really struck at the heart of how the advent of mobile has re-shaped the brand/consumer relationship, and I’ve been parroting his words ever since:

    “Brands are no longer goods or services. They’re a series of experiences.”

Building and fostering brand loyalty is all about creating those experiences; creating memories and moments that define what it is that a brand means to its target audience. It’s why, even as adults, we still have crazy emotional connections to the brands of our childhood. Real loyalty comes from a foundation of engaging experience.

Case In Point: Chiquita “Minions Love Bananas”

With this summer’s Minions movie driving one of the biggest product marketing tie-ins of all time, produce giant Chiquita needed a new and innovative way to capitalize on their partnership with Universal Pictures. It wasn’t enough to simply equate the banana-loving Minions characters with the Chiquita brand, this campaign needed to redefine Chiquita’s relationship with its mobile audience, capturing new leads and driving sales with fun & addictive digital content designed to support the entire customer journey — both in and out of the store.

Here’s a breakdown of the campaign and why it performed as well as it did:


The goals were simple: Amass an army of target-demographic leads for Chiquita’s newly-revamped, mobile-first CRM efforts, and drive a new dimension of value for the product — bananas — by integrating a layer of digital engagement and content into Chiquita’s shopper marketing collateral.

Target Audience

Everybody loves the Minions, and everybody eats bananas, but Chiquita needed to appeal specifically to the demographic with the highest probable purchasing power: moms. Moms with young children, to be precise. By aligning family-friendly mobile experiences with the family-friendly Minions property, Chiquita solidly positioned itself as the ideal family-friendly option in the local produce section.

Creative Strategy

FunMobility Chiquita Minions Sweepstakes

FunMobility structured Chiquita’s “Minions” campaign around an interactive sweepstakes

The campaign was conceived around a marriage of three ideas. First, medical-grade image recognition technology was used to bridge Chiquita’s physical shopper marketing with in-store mobile engagement. 32 different collectible Minions stickers were mass-produced and placed by hand on millions of bananas. Every new sticker shoppers scanned with their phones unlocked instant prizes & content.

Second, a new mobile-first “Minions Love Bananas” website was created for the upcoming film — rendering seamlessly on both mobile and desktop without an app — featuring a sandbox of interactive experiences to engage the target demographic of moms and their families: arcade games, greeting card makers, interactive recipes, and a fun tournament where users could vote for their favorite Minion. Visitors were rewarded with sweeps entries and digital prizes for every activity completed.

Lastly, a prize engine was created with custom logic to power an instant win sweepstakes where “everybody wins.” This sweepstakes structure unified every facet of the campaign, rewarding users every time they engaged with the website or scanned a sticker. In addition to a limited supply of more traditional prizes (a grand prize vacation to London, movie merchandise like water bottles and bath towels), consumers could also win an unlimited supply of mobile-first digital content (wallpapers, videos, activities). These digital prizes allowed the campaign to scale up to any size with negligible additional cost to the brand.

To promote retention and re-engagement, users could only win up to four prizes an hour, meaning they had to return to the site over and over again all summer to continue playing.


In addition to providing an avalanche of earned and organic traffic (90% of opt-ins came from earned and organic sources), the campaign’s overall sweepstakes structure was ideal for generating leads within Chiquita’s target audience of mothers with young children. The demographic breakdown for habitual sweepstakes entrants matches perfectly with the users the brand hoped to reach, and it paid off: 75% of traffic came from women, and 63% of traffic came from users in the perfect age range to be parents with kids at home. When it came to repeat engagement and lead capture, women were more than twice as likely to opt-in for future marketing, or to pay the site a return visit.

From the inception stage, the campaign was created to be truly “mobile-first” — not just from a design standpoint, but from a strategic one as well. Every decision made around the art, technology, and engineering involved was based on the understanding that modern “connected shoppers” engage with brands like Chiquita primarily through their mobile phones.


The Minions campaign contributed to Chiquita’s cost of sales decreasing by 10.9% in Q2, 2015. At the same time, operating income for Chiquita’s bananas segment improved 52.3%. In terms of overall sales, Chiquita saw quarter-over-quarter growth of $51.6MM (7.1%) between Q1 and Q2 of 2015.

Chiquita’s mobile audience loved the Minions campaign — almost as much as they love the adorable little creatures who inspired it. The site saw a return rate above 50%. The average session length actually grew over the course of the campaign, starting at 4 minutes 19 seconds and growing to an overall average of 4 minutes, 36 seconds after the release of the film.

20% of unique visitors signed up to receive rewards. Of that audience, 58% opted-in to receive ongoing marketing from Chiquita in the form of a newly-revamped email and SMS CRM program.

If you do the math, more than 10% of unique visitors opted into Chiquita’s newsletter.

FunMobility Chiquita Minions Sweepstakes Results

Chiquita’s “Minions” Sweepstakes Results

“Experiential” Segmentation

Even though marketing automation has become commonplace, most CRM strategies still segment their database based on how the user self-identifies via a form fill out or eCommerce conversion. But what about database segmentation that’s informed by the way the user actually experiences the brand.

For the Chiquita Minions campaign, FunMobility employed what we call “Experiential Segmentation” — basically a fancy way of saying we map an individual user’s experience across interactive content, and then use that mapped behavior to segment the database for more personalized (aka relevant) re-marketing.

If, for instance, a user visited the Minions interactive recipes page, we could bucket that user into different segments based on which specific recipes he or she showed interest in. Was she more into health food or junk food? Either way, Chiquita was armed with the information to deliver engaging follow-up content to their most loyal fans.

FunMobility Chiquita Minions Sweepstakes

Chiquita’s sweepstakes went beyond traditional lead gen & POS conversions

Learn more about how FunMobility’s Mobile-First Agency Services can help drive results for your upcoming campaigns


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