And now, consumer-generated snacking buzz

Dare Foods is rustling up 'Snack Champions' to sample and promote Simple Pleasures cookie bars. And yes, you too are eligible.

Before Kitchener, Ont.-based Dare Foods Canada starts stocking store shelves with its new baked cookie bars later this month, it’s recruiting ordinary folks to go online, nominate themselves as ‘Snack Champions,’ and get WOM buzz going in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto.

‘For our Simple Pleasures line, instead of traditional advertising, for the first time ever, Dare decided to concentrate on word of mouth,’ Louise Falcioni, brand manager cookies, tells MiC. Because the target demo is health-conscious adults 40-60, she says the reasoning behind the choice to go WOM all the way is simple. ‘People assume that if a cookie is good for them, it probably won’t be very tasty.’

So, to kick off Dare’s effort to quash that assumption, the Toronto-based Agent Wildfire agency was engaged to handle a ten-week search for ‘sneak preview insiders.’ Their mission? To sample the new line of nutritious cookie bars called Simple Pleasures – and then become persuasive ‘snack champions’ for the product.

After nominating themselves online, snack champs will engage in a range of activities to provide feedback, collaborate on brand ideas and generally be influential product evangelists. In addition to munching and opining privileges, participants will earn points to be redeemed not only for more cookies, but for translation into donations to one of three charities: Habitat for Humanity, the Nature Conservatory of Canada or Rethink Breast Cancer.

The next stage of the sampling campaign, says Falcioni, will literally take to the skies, with one million cookie bars distributed on Air Canada flights. Passengers will be encouraged to go online and blog about the cookies. Additionally, Simple Pleasures will be the featured product on the ‘Feel Good Food’ segment of Chum’s CityLine morning show on May 8. Toronto’s Ketchum Public Relations is handling this and all other PR elements.

Getting back to how one might become a snack champion, qualifications-wise, Dare is looking for individuals who are not just accomplished snackers, but who frequently ‘find themselves at the centre of snack break conversations.’ Those whose submissions are deemed worthy will receive a ‘Word of Mouth Insider’s Handbook’ as well as products to sample and share.

Apply to: