Media Adtech Awards Case Studies

How Unilever Indonesia spiced up mealtime with free samples during the pandemic


By Awards Analyst | writer

December 6, 2022 | 7 min read

Unilever Indonesia and Mindshare Indonesia picked up the Best Response to Change award at The Drum Awards for Digital Advertising APAC 2022 for its innovative mobile sampling program. Here, we find out what went into the campaign’s success.

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Unilever Indonesia boosted brand love and sales with a clever sampling program / Unilever Indonesia

Bango and Royco, two Unilever-owned meal-maker brands, designed a unique mobile-first sampling program that enabled Indonesian consumers to pick up a handful of free products. The push helped to significantly boost brand likeability and purchase intent.

The brief

Bango and Royco are on a mission to ‘enrich life through taste.’ During the height of the pandemic, the brands saw a new opportunity to live out this ethos. At a time when mealtimes were often one of the only sources of solidarity, unity and joy for families, the brands wanted to elevate at-home dining for Indonesian consumers – while raising brand affinity and incentivizing shoppers to pick Bango and Royco in the future.

Unilever teamed up with InMobi and Mindshare Indonesia to create a custom mobile program that would achieve these goals.

The idea

Together, InMobi, Mindshare and Unilever developed a one-of-a-kind online-to-offline sampling program, allowing Indonesian consumers to enhance their meals with samples of a variety of food products.

Lockdowns and physical restrictions associated with the pandemic meant that the team needed to develop an innovative approach to launching a sampling program. Mobile provided the ideal avenue, as it promised a seamless conduit between the brands and target audiences while also enabling the collection of first-party data – which in turn would help Unilever to better target their coupon ads and measure the impacts of their efforts.

With the help of InMobi-Gojek Audiences, the brands identified niche audience cohorts to target ads to. It assessed media behavior and data on consumer behavior including browsing and buying patterns and brand affinities. With these insights, the team created specified audiences to connect with food lovers, home cooks and household shoppers in Indonesia – a demographic consisting primarily of male and female consumers between the ages of 18 and 65.

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Bango and Royco then launched mobile ads including rich media, full-screen interstitials and banner ads on social platforms that invited users to claim their free samples. All that users had to do was create a registration, claim their free sample of choice (among four product options), accept the terms and conditions and then redeem their sample at a participating grocery store using the custom barcode provided during checkout.

“With meal-maker products being the best solution to provide an easy, instant in-home meal

experience without any hassle, we partnered with InMobi to activate a full-funnel marketing strategy,” said Ignatius Kevin Tigor, Brand Manager, Unilever Indonesia. “The idea was to promote our meal-maker portfolio where not only did we give consumers the much-needed education and inspiration, but we also provided the exclusive offer to directly taste the product. As a result of the free sampling program, even the beginner cooks could taste the meal-maker and believe that they can cook tasty meals easily.”

The results

To assess the campaign’s performance, Unilever conducted a brand equity survey using InMobi Pulse, which gathers consumer feedback and seeks to quantify the campaign’s impact.

While the engagement throughout the journey was strong, the audience seemed to love the campaign as the brand recorded 4X redemptions for Royco Telur Asin compared to the other 3 products. Furthermore, brand affinity and advocacy rose as a result of the effort: 82% of survey respondents emerged as strong advocates of the brands, and although just over half of respondents had never bought the given product before the promotion, 76% said they would definitely buy the product again.

The products offered through the sampling program were well-liked by consumers and helped Unilever acquire new customers at a 38% lower cost. Plus, Unilever discovered that one product, in particular, was outperforming the other three: the Royco Sup Kepiting saw a 15-point lift in brand strength index and a 50% increase in the total brand equity.

The integration between online and offline components of the program made the claim journey seamless, resulting in 47% of users who claimed the coupon, redeeming the product.

This campaign was a winner at The Drum Awards for Digital Advertising APAC 2022. You can see all the winners here. The Drum Awards for Marketing are currently open for entry. Find out how you can enter now.

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