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Donald FitzmauriceWith our international panel of Judges now sorting through the avalanche of submissions for Meffys 2014 (thanks to all our entrants!) we continue our series looking at some of last year’s winners to find out what they’ve been up to since they celebrated their success in the international mobile content & commerce awards.

This week, we catch up with Brandtone – winner of the Brand on Mobile Award for their groundbreaking Pepsico Credito Para Torcida campaign in Brazil, with CEO Donald Fitzmaurice.

What did Brandtone win a Meffy for?

It was fantastic for us to win a Meffy award last year in the brand on mobile category. PepsiCo are such a great client to work with – This campaign was the first time that they had run a solely digital campaign in Brazil so it was a really interesting for us to develop the strategy with them.

The ‘Credito Para Torcida’ campaign aimed to engage small retailers and street vendors across Brazil, to increase sales of Torcida snacks. Representing 90% of PepsiCo’s sales of Torcida in Brazil, it was important for the brand to connect with traders.

However, engaging with this niche market was difficult. We identified mobile as a universal channel through which PepsiCo could establish a direct line of communication with traders.

We did this by offering Torcida vendors’ free mobile airtime when they brought trade boxes of Torcida snacks and text the codes printed on the inside of the packaging. To redeem their airtime, vendors answered questions via text about their business needs and priorities.

Ultimately the incentive proved highly effective; reaching a third of the target market and generating a sales uplift of over 7% between July-December so it was a great outcome for us and for our client.

Why do you think the judges picked your entry?

I think the judges recognised the longer term value that our campaign had for the PepsiCo brand in Brazil. As one of the most successful campaigns conducted in the company’s history, it not only had an immediate impact on increasing sales but it gave the brand direct access to its target audience.

In the West, years of one-way, untargeted spam has eroded consumer trust. However, our mechanism meant that all consumers who made an initial redemption had the opportunity to opt-in to further engagement; so consumers could start the conversation and continue it on their terms.

Throughout the campaign over 25% of the target market opted in to further engagement with the brand. PepsiCo now has direct access to over 50,000 profiled traders across Brazil.

“It was fantastic for us to win a Meffy award last year in the brand on mobile category… Mobile is a really exciting space. Our focus has always been on connecting brands with emerging market consumers and mobile offers a universal way to do that.”

What have you been up to since winning the Meffy?

In the past year, we have grown phenomenally. Building stronger relationships with key clients, such as Unilever, we have expanded the business into ten emerging and developing markets, from just four last year. We have also secured more funding, supporting our international expansion.

Most recently, we also recently announced the appointment of Superdry’s Peter Bamford to our board. Peter will oversee our continued international expansion. His experience will be crucial in helping us to meet the needs of our clients; building on our successful work for global brands including: Unilever, PepsiCo, Mondelēz and SAB-Miller.

[youtube=]What are your plans for the year ahead?

We have some very exciting stuff happening at the moment and 2014 is really all about expansion for us. Using our current markets as hubs, we plan to expand into several new regions.

Beyond our expansion, our focus will be on evolving our product suite; ensuring that the brands we work will are able to continue to build two-way, lasting relationships with their consumers.

Apart from your own, which mobile companies are the ones to watch right now?

Mobile is a really exciting space. Our focus has always been on connecting brands with emerging market consumers and mobile offers a universal way to do that.

However, looking to the future, for us, some of the most interesting advancements are still in the research phase. There are a lot of great companies doing different things but the real test will be on how these technologies are appropriated – and how they are used by brands.

MGF14-MEFFYS_600x300Thanks to all the Meffys entrants, the finalist shortlist will be announced in September. Judged by expert panels of international journalists, analysts, academics and VCs, the Meffys provide companies and innovators with an unrivalled opportunity to be considered for the global mobile industry’s top accolades – winners will be announced at MEF Global Forum 2014 in San Francisco 17th – 19th November.