Chips Ahoy asks fans to design sneakers for mascot Chip

Dive Brief:

  • Mondelez’s Chips Ahoy is asking sneakerheads to vote on their favorite shoe design for Chip, the cookie brand’s mascot who returned from a six-year hiatus last March. Starting today, visitors to the website can pick the features for the shoes and be entered to win prizes in the Chip’s Kicks Sneaker Sweepstakes, per an announcement.
  • Chips Ahoy partnered with sneaker customizer Dominic “The Shoe Surgeon” Ciambrone to create a real-life version of the shoes, which will be given away as a first prize in the sweepstakes. Prizes also include a scholarship to the Shoe Surgeon Shoe School, Ciambrone’s design school for shoemaking, and a one-year supply of Chips Ahoy.
  • Mondelez will also donate $5 to Boys & Girls Clubs of America for every vote received in the sweepstakes, up to $20,000. The funds will go to arts programs at the clubs nationwide, in addition to the cookie brand’s $100,000 commitment to the nonprofit group, per the announcement. The sweepstakes is another way for Mondelez to collect first-party data, which is becoming more important amid a changing data privacy landscape.

Dive Insight:

The Chips Ahoy sweepstakes to design shoes for its brand mascot taps into the growing popularity of sneakerhead culture that has given rise to authenticated shoe resellers like GOAT and StockX. Mondelez is providing incentives to participate in the sweepstakes with prizes such as the scholarship to the Shoe Surgeon Shoe School and a free pair of the custom-build sneakers. The campaign can help to raise awareness for Chips Ahoy and strengthen ties with brand loyalists.

Chips Ahoy asks entrants to submit an email address to enter the sweepstakes, and provides an option to receive future offers from Mondelez’s snack brands. The sweepstakes is another way to collect first-party data from consenting customers, a strategy that has become more important for the company amid growing consumer concerns about data privacy. Technology companies such as Google and Apple have responded to those concerns with their plans to give people more control over how their online activities are tracked, making first-party data more valuable for brands seeking to improve their ad targeting.

The Chips Ahoy sweepstakes marks the beginning of an ongoing campaign featuring brand mascot Chip, whose customized sneakers will appear in ads throughout 2021. In addition to this year’s sweepstakes prizes, the brand plans to offer a limited number of custom Chips Ahoy Shoe Surgeon sneakers on NTWRK, the e-commerce app for streetwear, collectibles and sneakers. On April 21, fans can enter a drawing on NTWRK for a chance to win a pair of the customized shoes.

The campaign is another sign of how food brands are reinventing their mascots to make them more relevant to consumers. Kraft Heinz’s Planters nuts and Kool-Aid brands have developed a similar strategy. Planters last year ran an ongoing campaign that started with the death of long-time mascot Mr. Peanut, who was resurrected as Baby Peanut and quickly matured into a middle-aged man named Bart. Kool-Aid last year ran a campaign that asked fans to help find Kool-Aid Man, who had gone missing while looking for a new flavor.

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