Mr Potato uses Futzik to engage with locals
Regional - Following its 3-year sponsorship deal with Manchester United last year, Mister Potato is now aggressively targeting other Southeast Asian markets, specifically Indonesia and Thailand, through its concept of Futzik.
"Futzik is our concept of fusing football together with music," explained Pierre Pang (pictured 2nd right), Mamee-Double Decker, sales and marketing deputy manager.
The company recently chose to collaborate with popular Indonesian brand, Nidji, to boost its presence in the country .
Pang explained that its deal with Manchester United was a good one where it had a mass following of fans, however because it was a global brand in the UK locals did not really have the privilege to have an intimate connection with the players apart from watching them on TV.
"We can bring them closer to the Indonesian consumers by leveraging on a local asset. In this case, it's Nidji who are also big United fans," Pang said. He explained that with the combination of two industries that is driven by passion, music and football, the brand would connect with consumers on a deeper level thus generating more buzz on the Mr Potato brand.
As part of promoting Nidji's involvement with the brand, Mister Potato will fly the band to Old Trafford to shoot the music video for its single Liberty and Victory with Manchester United players. The video will then be distributed online.
"To begin, we have limited budget for above-the-line promotions for Indonesia and Thailand as investment in television is quite huge. Also, in Indonesia we are still in the urban areas of Jakarta and have not entered the mass market yet," said Pang, who added that its marketing strategy to enter those two markets uses mostly PR and social media initiatives.
In generating conversation online, relevance was key, said Pang. "People usually share something they can relate to," he said, adding that's the reason why apart from sponsoring local acts, it is now seeking a Thai band whom it can engage with and it will be taking Manchester United players for a photo shoot during the ‘Songkran Festival' as well as placing branded water tanks that look like Mr Potato canisters at the water festival.
"It's things like these we think locals would share online. It's not always you see a Manchester United player with buckets of water playing at your local festival."
According to Pang, the brand has been in both the Thailand and Indonesian market for some years now. However, starting from February this year, it got aggressive on driving brand awareness, investing RM3 million into both markets.
The Thai snacks market is worth RM2 billion due to the country's culture of snacking and it being a popular tourist destination, said Pang.
He added that another exciting market to watch out for was Myanmar. "We have been there for over 10 years, now it opens up and everyone seems to want a piece of it, we have the advantage of being there already."
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- Mamee-Double Decker