When the Going Gets Tough, Give Them Chocolate

During tough times, nothing beats getting something for free.  And even if it won’t mars_choco_reliefpay the bills, chocolate makes people happy.

Check out Mars’  Real Chocolate Relief Act, a digital initiative where viral meets consumer awareness.

In a nutshell (no pun intended; I usually opt for chocolate sans nuts), every Friday through October, Mars is giving away real chocolate to 250,000 people.  Getting your free chocolate starts by entering a birth date, (a GREAT demographic analysis tool for the Mars’ marketing team) dumping visitors into a world where “real chocolate” takes center stage. Not only can visitors enter to win free chocolate, they can learn all about “real chocolate” (U.S. Standards require that cocoa butter be the only source of fat, except for milk fat), find out how to spot “fake chocolate,” and bring friends, family and co-workers into the mix via a virtual vote that will ultimately award an entire city with free sweet relief.

In addition, a digital choco-community allows visitors to post to  blogs, share opinions and answer questions like “What Every Day Object Would you Want to Turn to Chocolate” and “How Does Chocolate Give you Relief?”

While this site’s most valuable tool is certainly its data capture mechanism,  stealth-like viral and educational elements combine well to inform consumers about the quality of Mars products.  At the end of the day, the Chocolate Relief Act serves up some pretty smart thiNKing. Plus, it’s a sweet deal for chocolate lovers everywhere.

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