When was the last time you talked about your favorite cracker on Twitter? It’s a dry subject and the marketing team responsible for promoting Nabisco’s new Belvita brand crackers knew that their key selling point, “Nutritious sustained energy all morning,” wasn’t going to light the social web on fire without a little help. Instead of following their traditional strategy of minting coupons or, God forbid, coming up with a strategy involving QR codes, Belvita decided to embrace 3-D printing in a crassly commercial, and wildly successful, ad campaign.
Creative agencies Droga5 and Fake Love took on the challenge of making this vision a reality by turning to Twitter and encouraging people to share their greatest morning accomplishments—say nailing the perfect pour-over or starting their commute just as a fist-pumping anthem came on the radio. Cracker enthusiasts the world over started responding with their stories, encouraged by celebrities like Jane Lynch and Mario Lopez, using the hashtag #MorningWin.
The agencies hired actors, complete with props ranging from spatulas to rubber chickens, to act out the best scenarios. Each tableau was scanned, 3-D printed, spray painted gold, affixed to a trophy, and mailed to the person who inspired it. Virtual trophies were awarded on Facebook and people were delighted to receive validation of their life’s minutiae in miniature plastic form.
Belvita’s brand managers imagined the printing happening on a sterile soundstage and shooting footage for a commercial, but the creatives at Fake Love had an idea that would expand the campaign’s reach into the real world. They rented a store front in New York City and set up a shop that was equal parts art gallery and bakery. Inside the store, visitors could observe actors clad in fluorescent green unitards pantomime tweets from followers across the globe. Passersby could watch a bank of printers transform the outlandish ideas into objects in the store’s window….