Cheerios: Hacking Prime Day

Hacking America's biggest shopping day and the world's biggest e-commerce platform to help Cheerios be the only cereal in your virtual basket.

Project Overview

Challenge

Research shows that when voice shopping on Amazon, 85% of customers select Alexa’s recommendation. We saw an opportunity to make Cheerios the one and only choice of cereal on a platform that skews towards habitual purchases.

Insights and Idea

What if you could guarantee that your product would top the shopping lists for Amazon Prime members? By 2020, research shows voice shopping will grow from $2 billion to $40 billion USD. This is driven by Amazon’s Echo (aka Alexa), which leads its competitors in becoming Americans’ digital roommate, the one you turn to for great shopping advice. With no visual shelf for consumers to scan, people default to Alexa’s top recommended option. In fact, 85% of shoppers will choose whatever Alexa recommends. We call this ‘incidental loyalty’ – when consumers remove themselves from the decision-making process and put digital assistants in charge. To ensure her recommendations are useful, Alexa tends to tell shoppers about products they’ve bought before. With ecommerce poised to grow dramatically, we saw an opportunity for Honey Nut Cheerios to become the recommended choice for new and existing customers and to win the future of voice commerce. Our idea? Leverage America’s biggest retail event, Amazon’s Prime Day, in order to establish a Cheerios shopping history so that the next time someone says, “Hey Alexa, add cereal to my shopping cart”, Honey Nut Cheerios is the first recommendation.

Delivery

It was simple – we designed a promotion, giving away a free family-size box of Honey Nut Cheerios to everyone who spent over $40 USD on Amazon. Millions of Amazon customers would take the offer, resulting in the search results for Honey Nut Cheerios peaking, effectively hacking Amazon’s recommendation algorithm. We drove awareness of our Prime Day giveaway on Amazon at every touchpoint across screens. With ‘Add Free Honey Nut Cheerios’ shopping buttons, we captured people on the homepage and checkouts. Amazon Prime Day hosts a live stream on its website’s very own shopping network – and we had a custom segment on it to raise awareness. We took over the homepage with banners, knowing millions of shoppers were passing through Amazon getting great deals. What seemed like a traditional media promotion allowed us to get ahead of the curve in commerce on voice platforms.

Results

  • Honey Nut Cheerios became the number-one grocery item on Prime Day in the USA
  • Sales increase of 64% vs. the week prior, year over year
  • 80% of customers in July were new to the brand

Every time someone said, “Hey Alexa, add cereal to my cart” Alexa recommended Cheerios, turning the threat of being delisted on commerce platforms into a competitive advantage and establishing future incidental loyalty on Amazon.

Awards & recognition
Cannes Lions 2019
Cannes Lions 2019 Media Gold
MMA SMARTIES X 2019
MMA SMARTIES X 2019 Silver – Best Use of Voice
Adweek’s Media Plan of the Year Awards
Adweek’s Media Plan of the Year Awards Winner - Best Use of Voice
Adweek’s Media Plan of the Year Awards
Adweek’s Media Plan of the Year Awards Winner - Best Use of Alternative Media

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