Food + Beverage

Hershey’s retained real estate on the largest billboard in Times Square, New York City. What tourists didn’t know: The Hershey’s Chocolate World store was right underneath the giant billboard.

The Problem

During the holidays, New York City brings in more tourists than any other time of year.

Between the decorative storefronts, giant Christmas trees and lights, (human)x was challenged to not only get tourists to notice the giant billboard in Times Square, but also to push tourists and viewers into the Chocolate World store.

We set out to create a campaign that was equal parts delicious and directional, moving people into the store and increasing sales.

Understanding the Audience

We started by understanding the audience in Times Square, which is diverse.

Qualitative analysis found consumers’ behavior varied throughout the day. In the morning, few people looking at the billboards. Rather, they were eating their breakfast as they checked their phones to map out plans for the day.

By midday, more families were arriving at Times Square, and while the attraction was the center of their New York experience, most people looked like they were trying to find their bearings.

As day turned to night, however, the billboards captured visitors’ attention and became the backdrop of many selfies.

We wanted to be sure to build awareness of the Hershey’s Chocolate World as soon as tourists arrived in New York City, engage them once in Times Square then ultimately drive them into the store to the point of conversion.

Using geolocation, digital ads showing Hershey’s products were served to anyone that arrived in New York city. To ensure we only reached tourists, we added a layer of location data to target people whose most recent location was within the city but whose home is more than 125+ miles away.

Ooh Experience Worth Ooohing Over

(spark), a flexible production agency, used animation to create an inviting Out of Home (OOH) experience. The giant digital billboard, complete with arrows directing viewers into the store where they could get their Hershey’s Chocolate Shake, handmade s’more or hot chocolate made with Hershey’s chocolate, showed viewers how they got to Times Square: through transit. Then, the animation ended with showing them exactly where they could get the items they saw on the screen: directly below.

Then We Made It Social

We collaborated with Leap Group’s media amplification agency, (amp), to translate the digital billboards into  two social media campaigns.

This furthered the campaigns reach and frequency  through targeted media and engaged users on the channels where they were most active.

The first video campaign featured four 30-second clips of the digital billboard video and was optimized for increasing awareness of Hershey’s Chocolate World among those traveling to New York City.

We utilized Facebook’s demographic and interest targeting to families interested in chocolate, based on their past social media behavior, as well as the city’s classic holiday traditions.

The first video campaign featured four 30-second clips of the digital billboard video and was optimized for increasing awareness of Hershey’s Chocolate World among those traveling to New York City.

Then We Went Inside

The magic had to continue in the store. (human)x created additional videos (that matched the billboards tourists saw) for use inside the store.

Videos directed consumers to where they could buy treats to eat right away or treats to save for later, while they were browsing the other holiday attractions. In addition, we helped design out the store – point of sale displays and graphics for optimal traffic flow and purchasing.

Mattering More

Increase in Sales of Featured Items
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Increase in Sales vs Prior Year
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Increase Per Capita vs Prior Year
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Digital Signage Up 2pts
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Increase From Dec 2nd - Dec 22, up 5pts
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Increase in Conversions vs Prior Year
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Increase in Daily Facebook Check-Ins Month Over Month
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Increase in Check-Ins Month Over Month
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Reach, with $5.83 CPM (9.06 goal)
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Engagements, 10.4% Rate (nearly double the 5.65% goal)
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Ad Recall (nearly double the 4.8% goal)
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