by Kerry Martin
It’s hard enough to convey a consistent brand message to the public or a select group of consumers. That’s why I happen to respect companies that use cross promotion to capitalize on the popularity of another brand to sell their own product/service—when it’s done well. You see it all the time in fast food chains with collector’s cups and kids’ meal toys that have characters from the latest blockbuster out in theaters.
But this time what caught my attention was the absence of the dancing Chiquita lady on my banana’s traditional blue sticker. Instead, I saw the logo for a new video game on the Nintendo Wii, Donkey Kong Country Returns. (Centered on a gorilla and his chimpanzee nephew, Donkey Kong advances through each level collecting bananas.)
After pausing to admire Chiquita’s cleverness, I realized that it couldn’t just stop there. A quick online search confirmed that beyond using the video game’s logo, Chiquita was also offering a contest to go along with this Donkey Kong cross-promotion on its Facebook page with prizes of the Wii™ video game system, copies of the Donkey Kong Country™ Returns video game, and a trip for four to Cancun, Mexico.
While I may be biased because I love this classic Nintendo game, I do have to say that pairing monkeys with bananas is pure genius (a fact Chiquita has recognized before in doing cross-promotion with another banana gathering monkey’s video game). This cross-promotion succeeds on two levels: it elevates the brand awareness of both products, and it encourages the consumer to engage with the company through an interactive promotional contest – one that will most likely be shared through word-of-mouth marketing by that engaged consumer.