How Snapple snagged a huge consignment and Miffy became New York City's Family Tourism Ambassador.
A few months ago, we highlighted New York City’s customer service initiatives, notably the ‘311’ service number, with its 24/7 call center, allowing New Yorkers to immediately report everything from potholes and defect street lights to loud noise and parking violations; get information on trash collection schedules or community center resources; or leave a (frank) opinion for the Mayor. We noted that not only other city governments around the world should pay attention, but many corporate laggards as well. Now, with some remarkable marketing initiatives, New York is again pioneering new business ideas that no doubt will be copied by other large cities around the world. First, in April of this year, Mayor Bloomberg appointed Joseph M. Perello ‘Chief Marketing Officer’ (CMO) for New York City, which could well be a world’s first. Perello is charged with, in Bloomberg’s words, “establishing a centralized marketing strategy for the City that will enable us to effectively leverage the world’s affection and admiration for New York City and the unique assets that we possess.” For an interesting interview with Perello, check out this Reveries article. Two recent deals seem to indicate that this City-CMO is taking his job seriously: a five year, USD 166 million vending and marketing agreement sponsorship with Snapple Beverage Group (source: nyc.gov). Elements of the deal: • In adherence with the NYC nutritional guidelines, Snapple will become the school’s exclusive provider of water and 100% fruit juice via vending machines in the city’s 1,200 schools. To keep things healthy (after all, the government is supposed to lead the way), Snapple is developing four new 100 percent juice drinks — Green Apple, Orange Mango, Grape and Fruit Punch as part of the deal. • Outside of the schools, Snapple will become the official iced tea, water and chocolate drink (Yoo-hoo) for vending in the City. Narrowing down the deal to “iced tea and water” clearly leaves the city’s doors wide open for a whole variety of other deals. • Snapple will market these products directly with the City through the sponsorship of concerts, events, and utilization of the City’s owned media including outdoor media, TV and online assets. • Snapple has committed to work with its affiliates to promote New York City through its marketing and communications efforts, with a promotional value of more than 60 million USD. Regarding the latter: Springwise hopes that Miffy, the white bunny starring in the “Miffy and Friends” book series, is also a big Snapple fan, as she has just been named New York City’s official Family Tourism Ambassador. The appointment emphasizes New York’s desire to be known as a safe and fun destination for families.And we’re not talking pocket change here: New York City welcomes nearly 37 million visitors every year of which 11 million are family visitors, making family travel the city’s fastest growing visitor category. Growth occurs mainly thanks to the transformation of neighborhoods such as Times Square into family friendly destinations, and due to the plummeting of the city’s once forbidding crime rate.Important detail: even though only 18% of all tourists visits from outside the US, they account for 42 percent of all tourism dollars. As Miffy is loved and trusted by parents and children all over the world (Miffy stories have sold some 80 million copies, in 41 languages), New York City will feature Miffy on its web site, in a new hardcover book introducing New York City as a visitor destination, and at promotional tourism events.