Live Human Marketing: Walkers Chips

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Revisiting: Walkers Chips Invite Customers to “Tweet to Eat”

When you head to a vending machine for an afternoon pick-me-up, the last thing you‘d expect is to meet a brand ambassador for your favorite snack. But that’s exactly what Walker Chips imagined with its “Tweet to Eat” campaign last year. While chip-lovers waited for their bus at a busy intersection, a vending machine came to life, seemingly housing a live person who encouraged the commuters to send out a tweet and receive a free bag of chips in return.

The clever marketing stunt might have cost a few bags of chips–and the technology it took to make a vending machine look like a man was trapped inside–but its success wasn’t built around the people who nabbed a free bag; it centered around their Twitter followers. At first glance, the brand ambassador seems to be the man in the machine; in realty, it’s the people who used social media to get free chips.

4 Reasons You Need Brand Ambassadors

Brand ambassadorship might seem like a small-scale marketing method, but its effects are more widespread than you think. Here’s why you need brand ambassadors as part of your strategy.

  1. Ambassadors Humanize a Product

Let’s face it: No one ever got emotional about a bag of chips. But Walkers was able to humanize their product by using an actual human to do their marketing. By putting a face to the brand, those who came in contact with the ambassador will remember the experience (and the human element) the next time they purchase a bag of chips. Brand ambassadors help to create an emotional connection that is nearly impossible to do with more hands-off marketing methods.

  1. Ambassadors Cause a “Loyalty Ripple Effect”

According to a research paper published in the International Journal of Service Industry Management, satisfaction is increased dramatically when customers themselves are part of the service delivered. By causing customers to participate, or “Tweet to Eat,” the Walkers brand ambassador actually used customer participation to drive engagement and ultimately, satisfaction with the product as a whole.

  1. Ambassadors are Great for Social Media

Social media is a form of word-of-mouth marketing. In fact, social media users are 80 percent more likely to try something new after seeing a friend tweet about it or mention it in a status update. When subjects tweeted about Walkers chips to get a free bag, they also participated in a highly effective method of marketing by become brand ambassadors themselves. Their followers are much more likely to try Walkers simply because a friend recommended them online.

  1. Ambassadors are Viral Machines

“Going viral” is the dream of just about every marketing campaign, but it’s hard from the basement of a campaign. Utilizing brand ambassadors gives a campaign near-instant viral status by capitalizing on the ambassador’s friends list. Going viral is much more likely if built upon a foundation of engagement from the ground level.

It might just be an afternoon treat to you, but Walkers Chips used ambassadorship to create an out-of-the-ordinary experience for people who are now customers for life. Human interaction might be a dying art in today’s digital world, but nothing sells quite as well as a face-to-face experience.

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