May 21st, 2008

Klondike Mixes Placement, Ad Spots to Promote Contest

By Karlene Lukovitz
Marketing Daily

Klondike has been getting massive marketing mileage out of its “What would you do for a Klondike bar?” theme for 26 years now, and it’s not about to let go of a good thing. Newer marketing channels are providing even more ways to engage consumers with the frankly goofy but compelling premise that people will go to any length to get hold of one of the novelty ice cream bars.

The latest campaign seeks to leverage the user-generated content phenomenon via a national “What Would You Do for a Klondike Bar?” video contest. “We wanted to give Americans the opportunity to show us the great lengths they will go to by answering the iconic question on camera,” says David Burrows, senior brand director for Klondike, which was acquired by Unilever and became part of Good Humor-Breyers in 1993.

While a user-generated content video contest is clearly a match made in heaven for this brand’s tagline, the real creativity arguably lies in how the contest is being promoted, via a combination of paid TV ads and what would seem to be an inspired, albeit in-your-face, use of product placement.

During the May 15 season finale of “My Name Is Earl,” Earl’s brother Randy was shown acting out some of the wacky things that he would do for a Klondike Bar. Klondike also advertised in two spots during the show.

In addition, Klondike not only bought two commercials during the May 15 “Tonight Show”; it was the featured in a live television commercial. The schtick: Host Jay Leno introduced “American Gladiators” star Michael O’Hearn and announcer John Melendez, and the two “jousted” over a Klondike bar. (Leno jested that the show is “apparently not making enough money.” Some bloggers seemed to find the spot amusing or notable because of O’Hearn’s pumped-up body, although at least one trounced the network with the comment: “When asked: ‘What would you do for a Klondike bar?,’ NBC responds: ‘Sell out.’")

The contest’s grand prize winner will receive $100,000 and a trip for a one-on-one digital short consultation with Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone of “Saturday Night Live.” Collectively called “The Lonely Island,” the team is known for directing, writing and starring in off-the-wall digital shorts, including the Emmy Award-winning “SNL” digital short, “D*** in A Box,” with Justin Timberlake.

Entries will be accepted and posted for viewing through July 31 at klondikecontest.com. Semifinalist videos will be selected based on viewer voting, as well as feedback from a panel of judges that includes “The Lonely Island” team. Four finalist videos will be announced in August, and it appears that Klondike will be airing these, since the marketers state that “America” will also help select the grand-prize winning video, to be announced in September.

Klondike is also driving traffic/participation by making video voters eligible to enter, on a once-per-day basis, a sweeps for $25,000 in cash. 

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