If the media coverage that has accompanied the reintroduction of the VitaMinis to Delhaize this year is anything to go by, colourful characters like Obi the Aubergine and Philipe the Pear have made a real cultural impact in Belgium. “VitaMinis conquer the world” read the headline in Retail Detail, while award winning news show De Ideale Wereld dedicated a portion of its popular programme to the plush toy’s resurgance.

This wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the enormous success of last year’s campaign, which saw Belgium introduced to the VitaMinis for the first time through tcc global and Delhaize’s partnership.

The 2017 campaign was designed to turn Delhaize into the preferred destination for fruit and vegetables, while enhancing its reputation as a great supermarket for families and teaching healthy habits in a fun way. It utilised a hybrid of assets in-store, online and through social media and made an impressive impact, fully meeting every business KPI. In total, the campaign sold 1.6 million cuddly toys, 400,000 sticker albums and another 50 million bags including cards and stickers–the VitaMinis phenomenon was born.

We spoke to Philip Cornelissens, tcc global sales director, and Yvonne Tindemans, tcc global campaign director, to discuss four factors that secured the campaign’s success.

  1. Combining assets

“Our main driver for last year was to increase frequency,” explained Philip. “To do that, we incorporated a combination of different campaign elements. Plush toys were, of course, a key draw, but the use of trading cards and stickers also played into the campaign’s success.”

This blend of physical assets was matched by the different promotional mediums used, with shop floor displays, an informative website and an accompanying social media campaign all increasing awareness.

“We wanted to give shoppers as many reasons to visit in-store as possible,” said Yvonne, “and the result was fantastic, as the figures show.”

  1. Close collaboration

While using a good range of campaign assets in this way may lead to a degree of success, Philip thinks there’s an extra ingredient that inspired the achievements of this particular partnership.

“It’s all about co-creation and collaboration,” he said. “We worked really closely with Delhaize to ensure every piece of content was perfectly tailored to its brand. The sticker album, for instance, let us communicate Delhaize’s values clearly and effectively. We could even include Belgian jokes to give shopper engagement an especially intimate and local feeling.”

  1. Ensuring shareability

Social media acts as an amplifier for word-of-mouth. To generate this organic chatter, assets need to have a certain appeal, something that the VitaMinis had in spades, according to Yvonne.

“The VitaMinis range hit a sweet spot with people, and we saw parents sharing photos of their children interacting with the characters on Instagram and Facebook. The cuddly toys proved to be naturally popular on social media, and this played a helping hand in us meeting our campaign goals.”

  1. Invigorating the shop floor

In today’s retail business, maintaining a brilliant experience for customers, and ensuring their customer journeys are easy and effortless, is key. Success rests on interaction with people and the perceptions that come along with that.

Philip believes this is a factor that will ensure the VitaMinis remain a firm favourite within Belgian retail. “What’s so exciting about this campaign is how energised the staff in-store are. You can tell how proud the campaign makes them, and this has played a huge role in making the reintroduction such an event. They’ve really made it happen!”

Greater things ahead?

With last year’s success, and the already rapturous reception for the VitaMinis’ reintroduction, the outlook for the new 2018 campaign looks good. However, the team are certainly not resting on their laurels.

A huge range of activity is already underway, with a refreshed website (www.vitaminis.be) and social media proving a great tool to drum up interest for this year’s launch on 25 January. As the campaign runs on until 28 March, the team will activate in-store displays at 700 stores, YouTube videos, an increasing social presence and out-of-home advertising. More activation tools will be made available soon to make this year’s campaign even more exciting for kids, and ensure 2018 is the VitaMinis’ best year yet.

If you’d like to find out how tcc global can create lasting loyalty for your brand, visit tccglobal.com

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