• Sha Jumari

Oreo and HP steal hearts of Chinese millenials

Mondelēz International took advantage of HP digital technologies to engage millennials through ecommerce and brand personalisation.

The consumption behavior for consumers are shifting, especially amongst millennials. Millennials have surpassed baby boomers to become the largest – and most demanding – generation of consumers.

For millennials, ecommerce is becoming the preferred purchasing method. According to a 2015 research by online payments company PayPal, 79% of millennials (between ages 18 to 34) interviewed in Asia Pacific have shopped online within the past 12 months. This percentage is the highest globally. The survey further revealed that millennials in India and China tie for the top spot of highest percentage of online shoppers in the region at 82%.

“Mega trends such as rapid urbanisation, consumer consumption, brand communications and hyper globalisation are making it all the more essential for brands to remain relevant to its consumers. By the year 2030, it is predicted that the middle class in Asia will be the biggest in the world,” said Michael Boyle, vice president for HP’s graphics solutions business in Asia Pacific and Japan.

In order to keep up with this growing group of consumers, retailers need to constantly update their marketing strategies in order to keep up with millennial expectations. One of the most successful ecommerce marketing campaigns to date was the Oreo Colorfilled campaign kickstarted by Mondelēz International in China.

“We are always looking for new things within the digital spectrum, that can have a breakthrough in our marketing activations. We saw this opportunity to merge new technology such as social media, ecommerce, big data, with manufacturer technology, that is digital printing. The result is the Oreo Colorfilled campaign,” said Dennis Dong, ecommerce marketing head of Mondelēz International in China.

Dong was recently at Dscoop Asia 2016 to share how the company’s marketing initiative combined ecommerce and brand personalisation and has been successful in winning the hearts of Chinese millennials during Singles’ Day.

Dennis Dong of Mondelēz International with HP's Michael Boyle at Dscoop Asia 2016

“Singles’ Day represents one of the most important online shopping days in China. In that one day, the e-commerce business can total up to $15 billion, which is an incredible number. We really wanted to connect to millennials in a special way,” Dong explained.

Singles’ Day, or Guanggun Jie, is a yearly festival unique to China and celebrated almost exclusively by millennials. According to Business Insider, Single’s Day was first celebrated by students at Nanjing University back in 1993. 11 November, or 11/11, was the chosen day as an ode to the number one.

The idea of Colorfilled was inspired by colouring books, which were becoming viral amongst the young adults: “We took into heavy consideration very specific trends such as colouring books. Millennials are always looking for new things that are perceived to be ‘cool’. Colouring books were becoming viral on the social media space,” Dong continued.

Personalised wrappers from the Oreo Colorfilled campaign

The Mondelēz team brainstormed on how to translate this trend onto Oreo packaging, and bring this concept on the online space. The Oreo Colorfilled campaign was first introduced to US markets at the end of 2015 as part of the brand’s holiday campaign for the region.

For a limited period of time, the campaign allowed customers to personalise the packaging of Oreo cookies by turning the wrappers into online canvases. The online experience was easily available via desktop or mobile and offered fans of the Oreo cookies an easy way to create a completely custom package. For the China campaign, Mondelēz partnered with ecommerce giant, Alibaba.com, to reach out to Chinese millennials.

“This is the first-ever, mass-produced, customised branding initiative of its kind in China. That is the beauty of leveraging on the digital printing technology to bring our marketing campaigns to life,” said Dong. “Enabled by HP digital printing technology, we were able to produce the customised designs and ship it, all within a span of five days. With the traditional supply chain, we would need at least two to five months to make the project happen.”

HP's Roy Eitan presenting digitally-printed packaging produced by the HP Indigo 20000 press

“One of the things that we keep hearing about is that change is exponential. If you look at where we are today, we’re still at the very cusp of how the world of graphic communications is changing. It is really the ability for a brand such as Mondelēz International to take a concept onto a product that is as generic as cookies, and make it into something special and connect to customers in a new way,” said Boyle.

According to Dong, they were able to charge a premium price for orders made through Oreo Colorfilled; at 60 to 80% higher than in stores. The added traffic to Mondelēz ecommerce site also boosted sales for their other products. With goals to grow their e-commerce revenue to $1 billion by 2020, Mondelēz International appears to be on the right track.

For the full version of this article and more print news, read the latest issue of Print Innovation Asia.

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