7-Eleven Malaysia aims to spice up its interactions with consumers via a new challenge called the "Flip The Poké Plate Challenge". The challenge encourages consumers to flip a plate from its latest Pokémon Poké Plates collection as many times as they can.
In a statement to A+M, Ronan Lee, general manager, marketing said viral challenges are the trend nowadays and its Poké Plate challenge is a form of engagement with fans, in a bid to invoke the spirit of competitiveness among them. However, Lee said 7-Eleven might consider incentivising other viral challenges down the road.
"The response for our Poké Plates so far has been incredible. We have been receiving purchase requests from fans around the region as well as further afield such as the US. Also, the unofficial Facebook fan pages for fans to trade, sell and provide tips for our Poké Plates programme have been very active," Lee said.
While brands should always try out new and good ideas, Lee said they should still refrain from jumping on the bandwagon for the sake of it. "Whether to connect with younger consumers or not, a brand needs to look at their own brand profile first and their customer profile too as not all young consumers are into fads or partakes in such activities," he said.
When asked how such challenges can help create brand longevity, Lee said the extent is "immeasurable" as it depends on the concept or execution and whether consumers relate it to the brand. Lee explained that it is not just about carrying out what is trending but actually conceptualising a trend or viral challenge that is unique, original and synonymous with one's brand, product and service.
"The challenge, however, is to do it in a subtle manner as consumers tend not to prefer to partake in some flagrant branding exercise, unless of course it's a brand or product that reflects a status symbol. Even then, there would be those who prefer to keep a lower profile or a subtle approach," Lee added.
The retail chain recently rolled out the collection featuring 28 different designs with popular characters such as Pikachu, Snorlax, Charmander and Jigglypuff. It is using a good mix of traditional and digital ATL communications, such as cinema ads and print media, as well as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to raise awareness about the new collection. The launch of the collection follows the movie Detective Pikachu and leverages on the hype surrounding Pokémon Go.