Mobile Futures Pilots Launch Into Market in 90 Days

Mondelez brands partner with tech startups, retailers such as Kum & Go, QuickChek

DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Kum & Go and QuickChek are among the participants in Mondelez International Inc.'s Mobile Futures program, which has put into market seven new mobile pilots in 90 days and is looking to launch two additional ones in the next month. Mobile Futures paired nine startup companies with power brand teams to accelerate and scale existing mobile innovations in this first phase of the initiative.

"We are always looking for new ways to engage our active customers. As part of our work to innovate in a variety of marketing platforms with our customers, we are working with Mondalez on a Mobile Pilot in our stores," Megan Elfers, spokesperson for West Des Moines, Iowa-based Kum & Go LC, told CSP Daily News. QuickChek, Whitehouse Station, N.J., did not respond by press time.

"The Mobile Futures program has been an extraordinary experience for all of us at Mondelez International. It has given us the opportunity to work with and learn from leading mobile innovators to enhance how we engage with our consumers," said Bonin Bough, vice president of global media and consumer engagement at Deerfield, Ill.-based Mondelez. "Working with our startup partners, we were able to successfully launch new mobile pilots in just 90 days--something we would never have imagined for a company of our size."

Brands and startups worked together as follows:

  • Trident and Lisnr (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Roximity (Denver).
  • Stride and Waze (Palo Alto, Calif.).
  • Chips Ahoy! and (New York).
  • Halls and Dailybreak (Boston).
  • belVita and inMarket (Venice, Calif.).        
  • Multi-brand portfolio program and Endorse (San Mateo, Calif.).
  • Sour Patch Kids and Kiip (San Francisco).
  • Oreo and banjo (Redwood City, Calif.).

The pilots, which use mobile-at-retail, social TV and/or SoLoMo (social/location/mobile) technology to enhance consumer experiences and drive impulse purchases, include the following:

  • Stride gum and Waze, a crowd-sourced traffic and navigation app, were the first to launch a pilot in Feb. 2013, bringing users unexpected coupons for Stride gum at nearby retailers while on the go. Early results were very positive, indicating that the mobile integration leads to increased store traffic. Stride gum and Waze have two additional initiatives already underway and will continue to expand the partnership throughout the year as Waze brings new tools and services to its user base.
  • Chips Ahoy! and social video startup launched the first brand page on the platform, Centered on March Madness, the Sweetest Bracket program allowed college students to see March Madness through the eyes of Chips Ahoy!. The brand leveraged Shelby's unique video curation engine and video content from Tongal, a social content development startup, to bring together the hottest March Madness footage in a custom and interactive Chips Ahoy! environment.
  • Nabisco's Wheat Thins, Ritz, Chips Ahoy! and Oreo partnered with Endorse, an iOS and Android application that brings consumers a daily flow of offers that deliver cash back on favorite products. The partnership has allowed the brands to leverage the loyalty inherent to the Endorse platform and incentivize purchase during the NCAA March Madness tournament.
  • Halls partnered with Dailybreak to create a custom gaming challenge, while introducing consumers to the suite of Halls products and their cooling benefits. The brand will continue to update the challenge throughout the year, including an in-store component that will see users completing mobile challenges at shelf.
  • Trident gum is leveraging Roximity's place-based proximity notification technology and database to drive impulse purchases of Trident. When consumers enter a radius of certain stores, they will receive a notification with a Trident offer either via SMS, mobile application or in their Ford SYNC AppLink equipped vehicles. Consumers can then redeem the offer on their mobile device with a personalized barcode for Trident products.
  • Trident gum is also working with Lisnr to give consumers exclusive music content via both TV and social media. Lisnr identifies inaudible sound frequencies and compares them to a custom content management system (CMS) for delivery--creating a passive second-screen experience. Trident's social media followers will receive push notifications with music content simply by downloading Lisnr and viewing Trident brand's online music content.
  • Sour Patch Kids and Kiip, a prominent mobile network that enables brands to reward in-app achievements, is bringing rewards to consumers in places and moments unique to Sour Patch Kids and Kiip. The brand will also be testing some integrations with iOS tools as part of Kiip's innovation roadmap.
  • Oreo is working with Banjo, a SoLoMo app that curates social feeds based on location to create streams of real time, social content. Tapping into events most relevant to their consumers, as well as events that Oreo sponsors, the brand will provide real-time content to enhance the event experience via the Banjo platform.
  • belVita Breakfast Biscuits partnered with inMarket, a startup in developing mobile applications used in store and at the shelf, to understand the impact of mobile technology on shopping conversion. Through its CheckPoints mobile application, inMarket will allow belVita to incentivize shoppers to find and interact with the product and learn if the interactions ultimately drive to a sale.

During phase two of the program, the brand teams and their start-up partners will work together again to ideate around broader business challenges. Based on the outcome of the ideation process, Mondelez can select the best ideas for incubation by the teams, with the hope of securing seed funding from angel investors and venture capitalists after 90 days.

"Mobile Futures is a truly unique opportunity to infuse the startup entrepreneurial spirit into our organization. With this second phase, we're going beyond launching pilots to create entirely new mobile ventures," said Bough. "This is where our brand teams get to truly act like start-ups and help deliver on our mobile-first strategy."

The Mobile Futures Network members include convenience store retailers QuickChek and Kum & Go; Viacom and AT&T AdWorks; incubator partners Prehype, Kicklabs, Sandbox Industries and TechStars Chicago; angel and venture capital investors First Round Capital, New World Ventures, Commerce Ventures, OCA Ventures, Intel Capital, BlueRun Ventures and Transmedia Capital; the Mobile Marketing Association and Location-Based Marketing Association; the Boston Consulting Group; and agency partners Ruder Finn, Evol8tion and MediaVest.

A global snacking powerhouse with 2012 revenue of $35 billion, Mondelez is a world leader in chocolate, biscuits, gum, candy, coffee and powdered beverages, with billion-dollar brands such as Cadbury, Cadbury Dairy Milk and Milka chocolate, Jacobs coffee, LU, Nabisco buscuits, Oreo cookies, Tang powdered beverages and Trident gum.