The Amazing Story Behind A Chocolate Covered Grasshopper Promo

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When GotVMail, a provider of Advanced Phone Numbers to tens of thousands of entrepreneurs across North America, changed the company name to Grasshopper, they knew they had to do something bold to introduce the new brand and launch the new services.

In order to generate buzz, increase awareness of the new brand and inspire its audience of entrepreneurs, the Grasshopper team wanted to create a multi-sensory marketing campaign that centered around a unique direct mail piece.

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But this couldn’t be just any direct mail campaign. No way. It had to be so remarkable that recipients would have no choice but to tell their networks about the package they received.

So Grasshopper looked to its new name for inspiration. In a bold move, the company sent chocolate covered grasshoppers to 5,000 of the most influential politicians, business leaders, journalists, authors and bloggers in North America.

These weren’t just any grasshoppers. The company found a sustainable grasshopper farm that ensured the insects were fed natural foods. They also sampled a number of different types of green chocolate with which they would coat the grasshoppers.

Each of the 5,000 targeted influencers were sent five chocolate covered grasshoppers, which reinforced the Grasshopper brand and were controversial enough to spark conversation. The packages were delivered via FedEx so they would appear more urgent to a recipient and therefore increase the open rate versus if they were sent through regular mail.

Once opened, the copy on the packaging appealed to the “risk-taking” spirit of entrepreneurs and urged recipients to take an unconventional risk and try a chocolate covered grasshopper. And it worked.

Social media mentions went through the roof. Website traffic and YouTube visits increased dramatically. And news reporters even tried them during broadcasts.

(Get all of the details about the campaign, including ROI, at “The Grasshopper Re-Brand: How We Did It And How It Went.”)

Grasshopper says the campaign was a success because it touched upon all of the human senses, capitalized on people’s natural curiosity and connected with them emotionally. Using guerilla marketing tactics not only opened the flood gates for interaction and dissemination of the video across social media sites, but it also intrigued even those individuals who did not receive the mailing, thus increasing its reach.

Of course, chocolate covered grasshoppers aren’t for just any promotion. But by taking a cue from its brand DNA, Grasshopper was able to design a rebranding campaign that tapped into its culture of risk-taking and solidified its new company name in the minds’ of its audience. Isn’t that what great marketing is all about?

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