Mentos, aka the Freshmaker, had a long legacy of championing fresh thinking. With Singapore’s Birthday coming up, the mint candy saw an opportunity to freshen up the country’s National Day celebrations, and in doing so, make the brand more famous. The aim was to associate the brand with something ‘Singaporean’ at its core, while driving sales.
Mentos didn’t want to be like other brands serenading people with ‘Happy Birthday Singapore’ kind of messages. It set out to break the mould by seizing the opportunity of turning a customary birthday message into an opportune moment to truly engage with patriotic Singaporeans. In order to create a strategy that focused strongly on engagement Mentos had to dive into a hot topic that would stir emotions.
The brand decided to reinvent the concept of a brand’s national birthday message, create a message that would be meaningful and tapped into a hot topic for Singaporeans and stay true to the familiar National Day formats to ensure immediate understanding and uptake.
Why were all ‘national birthday’ messages so conformist? Conformity led to blandness and lack of real engagement so Mentos re-concepted the birthday message to become a ‘call to arms’, inspiring action around a widely recognised issue. Singapore’s birth rate was plummeting and the government was at a loss with how to tackle the issue.
Mentos was prepared to play cupid and use its ability to freshen both breath and libidos in inspiring those in committed relationships to do their patriotic duty on National Day night - an ownable window of time free from official celebrations. Equipping people with a tool to physically share its message of nationalistic procreation, became key. Special ‘Mentos hearts Sg’ mint rolls were distributed, all containing a single red mint in a pack - a special red dot of a mint designed to be shared with one’s co-creator.
In activating ‘National Night’ online and offline Mentos chose music, the highly sharable food of love to spread the word. Modelled on the National Day song, Mentos’ song was packed with local innuendo and seeded to Singapore’s top blogs, hosted across all big video platforms and was available to download on Facebook. In owning the night in the lead up to National Day, DJs and the country’s most popular cover-band were given the opportunity to freshen up Mentos’ song and play their version in popular music venues.
In the space of 9 days, Mentos’ birthday message was viewed over 400,000 times online. During that period, the official National Day song received 18,000 views per day on average on its YouTube channel, in comparison to Mentos’ 47,000 views a day across all key video networks.
Mentos received coverage on 200+ sites from entertainment to business portals both local and international. After initially being rejected by all major national news channels due to ‘overly racy content’, Mentos got into all the top media houses and local radio stations. Coverage on CNN and a front page feature on the WSJ was also an achievement. Mentos created approximately $595,000 worth of media value with an estimated PR value of $1.6m, approximately 40 times its total budget. The special mint rolls created a 79% sales uplift in August against the same period last year.