43,000 Bottles Of Mentos Gum. 6 Days. 1 Really Fun Project.

September 6, 2017

A little more than 100 days ago, Fast Horse kicked off planning for an ambitious and complex campaign with an exciting new partner — Mentos Gum.

From the outset, what came to be known as #SamHasMentosGum — yep, we’re using hashtags as campaign names now —  was based on the insight that the simple act of sharing Mentos Gum is all it takes to help make a lasting connection. It’s a small gesture, sure, but when you’re an incoming freshman on campus with tens of thousands of people you’ve never met, it qualifies as a life hack.

In partnership with Mentos Gum, we came up with a big, fun idea: Let’s prove how Mentos Gum can help with making fresh connections by giving one freshman enough gum to share with every student at their school and challenge them to do it by the first day of class. To raise the stakes, we would offer to bring a Top 40 musical act to campus for a concert free to students and give the lucky freshman a year of free tuition.

Simple idea? Hardly. We were faced with complexities and shifting variables nonstop, but in just over 100 days, we managed to:

  • Partner with one of the biggest universities in the country, the University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Ink an agreement with one of the top musical artists of 2017, DJ Khaled
  • Build out a local and national paid media strategy
  • Develop an integrated campaign microsite, SamHasMentosGum.com
  • Create a campaign-specific social media strategy
  • Plan 21 on-campus event activations over six days
  • Create a visual identity
  • Design more than 100 original paid media assets
  • Partner with a social media influencer, Sara Hopkins (@Sayhop)
  • Review more than 150 applications to find our freshman — his name is Sam

And then, we executed. For seven consecutive days with little downtime, we coordinated the moment of surprise, the grand finale, and assisted Sam with logistics and distribution for moments in between. We also documented his story through updates on the microsite and social media content.

In the end, one unsuspecting freshman was able to make 43,000 fresh connections in the course of six days, proving a little Mentos Gum can go a long way when meeting people. It was a thrilling campaign to execute in partnership with our Mentos Gum client, but the work is far from over.

After a good night’s sleep (or five), it’s on to the next phase of this project: Producing an arena concert for DJ Khaled and 10,000 lucky UW-Madison students. Mint!

A fraction of the Fast Horse team that executed #SamHasMentosGum pictured with Sam himself!