||Roo Gives a Voice to Kangaroo Express
Roo, The Pantry's Kangaroo Express mascot, is hitting the big time. The character, who is usually "seen" in shaded profile on store signs, will play a bigger role in the chain's promotional efforts and give voice to the Kangaroo Express brand, said Dave Henninger, vice president of marketing services.
An all-new radio campaign featuring Roo launched this fall and he'll play a larger role on the retailer's website, Facebook and Twitter communications moving forward.
"The character is becoming an interesting phenomenon," Henninger told CSNews Online.
The fun, interesting, witty and sincere Roo character exploded in popularity this summer during Kangaroo Express' "Salute Our Troops" campaign, which was designed to raise money for charities that serve military families. The initiative, which also was crafted to expand the chain's cold dispensed beverage program especially with a younger demographic (teens and young 20s), heightened awareness of the c-store chain beyond the company's original plan and catapulted Roo to pop-culture icon status in its markets.
The campaign won on all fronts: it raised two-and-a-half times as much money as Kangaroo Express expected ($2.5 million vs. the expected $1 million); blasted through the 250,000 20-ounce refillable cups in the promotion undertaken to increase sales of fountain drinks; and received great gifts from the market in the form of customer coined phrases the chain is turning into a promotional initiative that has only begun to deliver benefits.
Now added to the marketing vernacular: "Roo Cup" and "Roo Run."
The three-pronged Salute Our Troops campaign was launched in conjunction with $6.99 graphic-rich refillable cold cups, which were designed to drive cold beverage sales and be a catalyst to bring customers into stores all summer for free refills and to make donations to benefit the USO and Wounded Warrior Project. State-based military support organizations that benefit soldiers and their families in five states, also benefited from this initiative.
The program really resonated with employees and customers alike and the cups sold out quickly, with some of them promoted by consumers as "Roo Cups" selling on eBay for as much as $40 each, Henninger said. In the interim, the newly minted "Roo Cups" became the necessary equipment for a summer "Roo Run."
The program was "just off-the-hook amazing," declared Henninger.
This kind of marketing -- and now the introduction of radio advertising -- are both new endeavors for Kangaroo Express. With such early success, more of both can be expected. "People want to engage with us and connect with the kangaroo," he said.
(Source: Convenience Store News, 10/28/11)