INTERVIEW: The Story Behind Maggi's Amazing Singing Soup Pot Campaign

When Nestlé Bolivia approached us with the ambition to create an out-of-the-box brand activation for Maggi soups in Bolivia to capture the attention and hearts of the customers, we were thrilled to help.

We knew that our in-store, interactive, brand activation POS/POP display can help create an amazing experience for shoppers in-store. This is exactly what happened. Maggi's campaign started out with a creative idea: a series of sensor-controlled singing soup pots that have gone viral with nearly one million views on Facebook.

Tokinomo and Nestlé Bolivia crafted a clever yet classical-themed idea where soup pots sing traditional Italian classics to unexpected shoppers. 

Interview with Maria Fernanda Ugalde (LinkedIn), Senior Category Marketing Manager at Nestlé

We talked to Maria Fernanda Ugalde, the Senior Category Marketing Manager at Nestlé, to give us more insights into their ambition and the creative process. 

Here’s what she had to say:

Q: Hi Maria, great to meet you! Can you outline how this idea came about and what you wanted to achieve? 

A: Well, it started like so many POS products that we have based in Bolivia. Not a huge marketing budget at our disposable yet, the ambition was to create strong awareness of our MAGGI’s soup brand in the region. 

From our product range, MAGGI was one of the brands that hadn’t had much love in marketing both in-store or through traditional methods, so we needed to refresh our thinking to let customers know it’s there!  

That’s when I started having conversations with Alejandro Urioste Bedregal, the regional rep at Tokinomo, about thinking differently in our approach. I don’t know how, but we started talking about Harry Potter, and then we had a spark of imagination.

Alejandro said, “why don’t we turn the product into something magical? Something that could move and sing on its own?”

Being a huge Harry Potter fan, I loved the concept. But - like any spark of imagination - the next question is how? 

Alejandro said he would go off and develop a storyboard of how this could come to life. 

One week later, we met in person, and he presented both the storyboards and a live prototype of the MAGGI singing pots. 

He demonstrated the sensor-controlled mechanism that lifts the pot lid in sync with Italian opera music, mimicking the pots singing with a fire effect from lamps under the pot. It was something I’ve never really seen in all my years working in the industry. I just loved it! 

So I took the idea to my bosses, and they loved it as well and gave me the green light. 

Q: Sounds exciting! So what were the next steps? How long did it take to get them in the stores? 

This was probably the most challenging part as we needed to sell the idea to the retailers. 

And, like all creative, out-of-the-box ideas, there will always be some reservations. 

But we were able to secure 4 x supermarkets across Bolivia to run with the idea. 

One big plus that helped the retailers buy into the idea was direct product selling to customers without staff. 

We found that confidence in buying behaviors had dropped because of the pandemic. Many customers were not engaging with staff in the way they did because of the worry of catching covid. 

But by having a robotic censored, controlled device offering products in a unique and fun way helped us solve this challenge - both from the retailer perspective and the customer. 

Q: What did success look like when implementing this campaign? 

We’re still waiting for the final numbers from the retailers, but we hear good things. 

We know for sure that we’ve seen at least a 50% uplift in MAGGI’s soup sales in all stores. 

But I can also safely say that some stores are likely to see at least 200% uplift from this campaign alone. 

It’s crazy that with such a low budget, we see these results. It’s also made us think about the importance of the final part of the puzzle when selling products in-store. Think of it this way - if you plow all your budget into traditional marketing methods such as TV, radio, printed media, and paid social but you don’t think about in-store activations, then you may have a red herring on your hands. 

People in Bolivia (and across the world) buy with their emotions. If you tap into this instead of being lost in the crowd, then you’re onto a winner. Emotions can trigger impulsive buying habits and can help you stand out — something we did with MAGGI’s soup.

Oh, we’ve also seen customers’ videos go viral with nearly one million views on Facebook. Activation stunts like these can save you thousands of dollars in social ad spend because the customers do it for you! 


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