As ‘football fever’ flourishes in the build up to the June kick-off of Euro 2004 in Portugal, there will undoubtedly be a rise in commercial activity surrounding the event and much of it will be targeted at male consumers. Nestlé, in particular, will use the event to further assert the light hearted, but highly effective gender specific positioning of Yorkie.

Nestlé Rowntree’s soccer themed texting promotion sees the confectionery maker team up with former England striker Ian Wright to give customers “the chants to win” in the run up to Euro 2004.

Consumers are encouraged to text in the code from the back of special Nestlé packs. The ‘Chants to Win’ on-pack promotion offers 10,000 cash prizes of £20. Winners will also get a recorded message from Ian Wright singing a victory chant. Losers will receive a ‘They’re only singing when you’re winning’ message.

The company is hoping the campaign will boost sales across a range of confectionery brands including Kit Kat, Yorkie, Toffee Crisp, Rolo, Smarties Bar, Milkybar, Drifter and Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles packs. The promotion will be supported by point of sale material and an outdoor poster campaign starting in May.

Event based marketing represents one of the fastest growing areas of marketing activity today. Importantly, certain events allow brands to devise campaign extensions that are highly relevant to brand values. It is because of this that Nestlé is using the tournament to further assert Yorkie’s macho positioning.

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Hitting shelves from the end of May, the original Yorkie 68g bar will have a change of wrapper with the brand’s name replaced by the word Footie. Messages on the side of packs will include ‘No passes to lasses’, ‘It’s football not netball’ and ‘Shhh I’m watching the game’.

It makes sense to align a male oriented brand with a predominately male oriented sport because much of Yorkie’s target market, who still possess macho values, will be core followers of Euro 2004.

Core followers of events are more predisposed to exhibit goodwill towards the concept of sponsorship. Furthermore, they are also more likely to become aware of brands through event association and to change their purchase behaviour as a result of this. The final factor working in Nestlé’s favour is that sports followers are more likely to react to marketing messages and make purchases due to event marketing than arts followers.

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