Nestle: Buy Our Candy So We Can Hunt You Down

from the and-scare-the-nougat-out-of-you dept

Corporate contests. They so often lead to hijinks at the hands of technology, such as that time the internet decided Mountain Dew's new flavor should be "Gushing Granny." Oh, and there was that one online promotion that sent something called Taylor Swift to sing at a school for the deaf. But, lest you think that this volatile mixture of technology and corporate contests is good only for laughs, picture the following.

You're walking down a street in a European city, reading about how something someone did somewhere upset a major world religion, and you decide you need respite from the madness of the news. So you walk into a corner store, buy a candy bar, and tear it open, ready to bite into a soft, gooey explosion of stress-melting flavor-gasm. That, of course, is when the black helicopters and MiBs appear out of nowhere, rushing you with an ominous black suitcase. If someone froze you right there in that moment, what do you think you would likely expect to happen next?

NUKE

Image source: CC BY 2.0

Well, you'd be wrong (probably). Because those aren't darkly dressed neo-terrorists that have for some reason decided to specifically blow you up with a neutron bomb (dear lord, you're self-centered). No, it's your friendly folks at Nestle, responding to the GPS technology in your treat to hand you £10,000 in cold, pants-crappingly terrifying cash. It's all part of the new Nestle contest to reward customers by tracking them down via GPS technology in their candybars within 24 hours of being consumed. They named this campaign "Nestle: we will find you!", because apparently "Nestle: we could find and kill you for eating our products anytime we wanted to" didn't strike quite the right tone.

Now, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that there's no reason for me to think this contest will play out the way I described above. Well, here's Nestle's own ad for the contest.

Now, I'm generally all for creative promotions, but this all seems terrifying. A private company is going to track me down via GPS and throw a suitcase at me in a major city? Well, not me, since not only am I not European, but I'm one of the six people on the planet that absolutely hates chocolate...but you, sweet Euro-reader! It could be you who fudges your pants after eating fudge! So, in conclusion, the article gives a listing of the candy bars you should avoid if you don't want to be hunted down.

The grand prizes for Nestle's We Will Find You promotion, involve these four chocolate products: KitKat 4 Finger, KitKat Chunky, Aero Peppermint Medium and Yorkie Milk.

($10 says there's a porno parody of those candy names out there somewhere.)



Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Ninja (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 3:56am

    LOL!! Tim, your writing style is too damn funny it's always a pleasure to read your articles with all the vivid and highly improbable examples and all the neologisms. "soft, gooey explosion of stress-melting flavor-gasm" was epic ;)

    In any case I'd be one of the people avoiding their candy... No srsly, doesn't this violate any right? I mean you are virtually tracking the movements of a person?

    I too am in favor of creative promotion but that's a bit too creative ;)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 5:23am

    They could end up tracking someone to places they probably don't want to know about.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 5:29am

    Clearly Mike is travelling to some 'tardian conference or secret WydenPAC meeting... it's all second string today.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 5:33am

      Re:

      See, it's your joykill temperament that lost you that bit part in Aero Peppermint Medium Does Helsinki 2: The Creamy Center.

      Learn, buddy! You'll make it someday! :)

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 5:36am

      Re:

      Or maybe he's too busy playing Torchlight 2 (which, by the way, is OUT, FINALLY!).

       

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        karim (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 5:45am

        Re: Re:

        Ah, thank you for posting this. You just made my weekend!

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 6:29am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Also, I just noticed that yet another humble indie bundle is live. Funnily enough, it includes Torchlight (the first one).

          There go all my work deadlines for the rest of the year :)

           

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      Ninja (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 6:30am

      Re:

      Awww, u jealous? ;D

       

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      weneedhelp (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 7:17am

      Re:

      "Clearly Mike is travelling to some 'tardian conference or secret WydenPAC meeting... it's all second string today."


      As far as trolls go, that's pretty funny right there.
      Traveling.

      Too bad for you TD's "second string" beats your starters hands down every time.

       

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    Titania Bonham-Smythe (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 5:44am

    Unfortunately I discovered this week that my bag-of-Skittles-every-lunchtime habit appears to have given me diabetes. No more sweets for me. All joy has left my life.

     

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    halley (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 5:45am

    Same thing announced by Coke in 2004. Phones, GPS units, and/or RFID tags inside cans.

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/food/2004-05-09-coke_x.htm

    And even the US military got the heebie jeebies from it.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5345132/ns/us_news-security/t/coca-cola-promotion-prompts-securit y-measures/#.UFxgwdaPWKY

     

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      The eejit (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 6:33am

      Re:

      Didn't Futurama do this before Coke?

       

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        LDoBe (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 9:31am

        Re: Re:

        The Slurm (it's highly addictive) sweepstakes? cuz that was just a winning bottle cap rattling around in a can.

        Perhaps the eyePhone? even though that was targeted advertising but didn't seem to involve location tracking. Just recording and analyzing everything the user does with the eyePhone.

        So, nope, I can't really think Futurama did anything like this. But it could be a cool episode!

         

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    Josef Anvil (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 5:46am

    LOL

    Avoid Nestle products if you are planning to 1. cheat on your spouse, 2. commit terrorist activities, 3. relax with some child porn.

     

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      Ninja (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 6:36am

      Re: LOL

      Oh now I get it, they are doing this for the children!

      I can't help but to laugh at the MIB scene Tim described if a child wins the prize.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 5:53am

    I smell a lawsuit

    No, not because of the tracking, but because of the results. I predict that - in spite of the tens, or hundreds, of millions of Nestle candy bars sold in average retail establishments - the winning bar will end up distributed to a dark, dirty, nasty, little establishment frequented by people of the worst sort. Nestle, wanting to distance itself from such a place, will go to untold lengths to prevent the bar from being sold there. If they can't, or don't in time, and the candy is sold then they'll try to bury the promotion or the winner or the place of purchase. They'll be caught in the act of course and someone will sue and the whole contest will end up smelling like rancid chocolate.

     

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      Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 6:43am

      Re: I smell a lawsuit

      They could just put trackers in many candy bars, then decide who gets to win. Unless you regularly scan your candy bars for RFID tags or GPS signals, you'd never know it was there.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 5:56am

    This is great news they should double or triple the money if you can evade capture by the chocolate goons.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 6:04am

    Re: the porny-sounding candy names, this is the continent where you can get Maoam fruit candies with their... um... divertingly ambiguous label illustrations.

     

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    Cory of PC (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 6:10am

    Somehow I'm conflicted by this:

    On one hand, I get to enjoy something that I might like and get 10,000 pounds (euros? Either way, I'm netting something in between $13,000 to $16,000) just for eating a bar of chocolate and getting the money from out of nowhere.

    On the other, I'm eating a GPS tracking unit and being watched by a chocolate company, being followed by my every movement, waiting for the right moment to strike and terrify me. Plus I have to deal with the thing inside me for... a few days before nature kicks in, and also I'm curious on how that thing's going to taste if I were to eat it. Then again, since teeth are involve, would it be strong enough to resist the crushing of teeth and stomach acid?

    Hey, if it's for money and candy, sign me up!

     

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    JAB, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 6:19am

    Can't wait to find them at the water treatment plant. #gross

     

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    Lowestofthekeys (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 6:19am

    " hand you £10,000 in cold, pants-crappingly terrifying cash."

    Now I know what coffee in the sinuses feels like.

     

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    Gothenem (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 6:22am

    ($10 says there's a porno parody of those candy names out there somewhere.)

    Thank you Tim. Now I have to get that image out of my head.

     

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    Christopher Weigel (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 6:29am

    I have to imagine there's a simple way to game this. Like a handheld device to scan candy bars for electronics.

    Cue TSA buying 100000 chocolate bars and running them through their X-rays.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 7:12am

      Re:

      I was thinking how someone might be able to game it as well. Then I thought about the statement that the GPS was activated when the wrapper was opened. I wonder if the GPS is already active but the wrapper has a lining that makes it a Faraday cage.

       

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        Tunnen (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 9:10am

        Re: Re:

        I would think that the lining wouldn't be able to form an effective Faraday cage due to it's thickness. Shoplifters use multiple layers of aluminium foil in a bag/purse to attempt to steal RFID tagged items. I would assume that an active GPS transmitter would require a lot more shielding. I'm also assuming it would be actively transmitting, since a passive device would only be able to know where it is, but not tell anyone (including Nestle). This also then begs the question on how they are powering the thing. I'm fairly sure the person will know when they find it. Would be funny as hell if the person that buys the candy bar happens to be a fugitive, spy, paranoid or conspiracy theorist. I would love to see them freak out over finding a GPS device in the chocolate. =P

         

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          Tunnen (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 9:17am

          Re: Re: Re:

          You know, the coffee is starting to kick in now. I just remembered that thickness of the shielding material isn't that big of a deal in a faraday cage. As long as you have a thick enough layer to ensure proper coverage (No tears/holes).

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 9:50am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            From what I read the thickness of the metal can be very important. The metal can be a grid or mesh but the holes must be small enough to interfere with the wavelength being transmitted.

            Either way I think the idea of a Faraday cage wrapper fails because you would need a pair of wire cutters to open it. X-p

            May I please have some of your coffee?

             

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 6:31am

    Welcome to "The Running Man" by Steven King!

    Though I believe it ended up on the 9/11-list of inappropriate content, I think it is a better reference for this than the cute romantic love-story about London 2020 called "1984".

     

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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 6:31am

    Oi! Techdirt writers.

    Oi! Techdirt writers! Apply this to your blogpost:
    s/Europe/United Kingdom and Ireland/g

    Europe consists of more than just 2 countries. Like in one of your previous posts about Amazon releasing a streaming store in "Europe" meaning only UK, France and Germany.

    So as you know, Europe is much larger, because next to the aforementioned countries it also contains, Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and Vatican City. Plus an assorted number of partially recognized states (Abkhazia, Kosovo, Nagorno-Karabakh, Northern Cyprus, Transnistria and South Ossetia).

    This ad campaign only covers two countries, the United Kingdom and Ireland (as per the source of the article)

    I *am* a European, with a sweet tooth, but I cannot participate in this event, because I'm not British, nor Irish.

    So, why are you addressing ALL Europeans when you mean to only address the Brits and Irish?

     

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    Jc, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 6:43am

    If they ever do this in the US, someone is gonna get shot...

     

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    lolzzzzz, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 6:46am

    nestle = hersche

    as in hersche highway.....i think ill stick to swiss chocolate from now on

     

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    lolzzzzz, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 6:47am

    nestle = hersche

    as in hersche highway.....i think ill stick to swiss chocolate from now on, and next time a friend is at a canadian beer store OR you are tell them you dont want the free coffee from nestle because there nosy fucks and want to track you....

    that will send the message when the beer store has 5 billion instant coffee's they can't give away

     

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    dennis deems (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 6:49am

    The thing I can't wrap my brain around

    What if, for the sake of argument, I want to enjoy the blandest chocolate on the planet, yet inexplicably don't want to unwittingly ingest an electronic tracking device. I guess I'm SOL?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 6:54am

    I don't think the money would cover their hospital bills

    I'd be bankrupt after the assault lawsuits in such a situation. So, I can't buy Nestle bars.

     

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    abc gum, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 7:00am

    So, do they hide a small device in the chocolate that presumably is eaten by the unaware consumer or is it large and has a sticker saying Do Not Eat ..... is it something completely different?

    If eaten, the device might end up in the loo and if it is large then the consumer gets no chocolate?

    Maybe I need more coffee because this is a bit confusing - and yes I read the article.

     

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      Ninja (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 7:13am

      Re:

      I'd say one tiny alien will jump out of the candy bar and bury itself into your belly button and scream "GPS" signals to the base so the black MiB chocolate goons can locate you. After the £10,000 in cold, pants-crappingly terrifying cash is delivered they will surgically remove the alien with zero costs. Satisfaction guaranteed!

       

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    weneedhelp (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 7:08am

    Got to here

    "online promotion that sent something called Taylor Swift"
    Damn. Ouch. She is a hottie.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 7:13am

    I was worried about carrying a cellphone around originally, since it might be used to track me. But I guess I don't have to worry about it, since in the future every piece of food sold in stores will contain tiny GPS units. (To fight terrorism, don't you know.)

    This puts Orwell's "TVs that watch you" idea to shame.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 7:18am

    Try Hershey's! It's better anyway. I think of Nestle and I think of tons of tiny little nuts in the chocolate.

     

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      Rekrul, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 9:13am

      Re:

      I don't eat much chocolate any more, but when I do eat it, I prefer Nestle. Hersey's always has too much of fudge taste for me.

       

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    GMacGuffin (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 7:18am

    Still not as scary as Willy Wonka ...

    ...and I mean specifically the 1971 Gene Wilder version. Scariest. Movie. Ever.

    Because of that film, I do NOT want prizes in my chocolate, thank you.

     

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 7:20am

    So how long until the first winner uses the prize cash to sue Nestle for not selling them candy but technology instead?
    I can see all sorts of pained claims about it being bait and switch and millions being demanded....

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 7:55am

      Re:

      Yeah it's possible. One thing a lot of the commenting people seem to be confused about in this thread is that winning bars have no actual chocolate. The whole thing is a tracker wrapped up in a wrapper, with the wrapper removal being the activation trigger.

      My guess is that you'll have some enterprising shopkeepers just weighing all the bars. I doubt they'll be able to put a transmitter of any kind in something that weighs as little as a medium Aero bar.

       

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        John Fenderson (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 9:14am

        Re: Re:

        I doubt they'll be able to put a transmitter of any kind in something that weighs as little as a medium Aero bar.


        Yes, this is possible to do. The GPS+cell phone combo that would be needed for this stunt can weigh nearly nothing. The heavy part is the battery, but if the unit is powered down until activated, and only has to work for a short period of time, that won't be too heavy, either.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 9:46am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I dunno, an Aero bar weighs 45 grams. That's really really light. It's possible that I'm wrong, but I'm skeptical.

           

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            John Fenderson (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 12:05pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            GPS+Cell phone can be had on a single chip (See Qualcomm's Izat chipsets for example). These weigh less than 5 grams, including packaging. Add another gram, maybe, for the antenna.

             

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        GMacGuffin (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 12:38pm

        Re: Re:

        "I doubt they'll be able to put a transmitter of any kind in something that weighs as little as a medium Aero bar."

        Deferring to Fenderson, I add that if GPS+Cell are anything like the candy bars they will be found in, they will keep getting smaller and smaller in order to retain somewhat comparable pricing. (Wait, that was Hershey who invented making chocolate smaller to keep the price stable... nevermind.)

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 7:39am

    Or could be a publicity stunt that they have no intension of doing. People will complain, they will say they will stop this promotion and everyone with buy more chocolate.

    Sound reasonable?

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 8:59am

    Comments disabled

    YouTube sez: Comments disabled for this video. Cute.

     

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    Berenerd (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 9:11am

    I am just saying...

    So is this tracking device in the Chocolate where someone can have an allergic reaction and die a horrible death before the MIB attacks them with 10k papers cuts? Is it in the wrapper that will get tossed away with the rest of the trash?

     

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    DOlz, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 9:20am

    Wait this isn't an Onion article??

    Great I already won't use a cell phone for privacy reasons. Now I have to give up candy bars? Luddite or Amish, I guess those are going to be my only two options left.

     

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    gnudist, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 10:21am

    Aww, that so sweet having her sing for a school full of deaf kids. Surely that will make them feel better about their disablity

     

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    McFortner (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 4:03pm

    Filming

    ($10 says there's a porno parody of those candy names out there somewhere.)


    If there isn't, there will be by the end of the weekend.

     

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    Pray for the truthtellers, Sep 27th, 2012 @ 9:15am

    re:

    I guess that’s one way to make us stop eating things “they” consider “bad” for us, put RFID chips in the products so “they” will be able to find us and punish us for eating something besides cauliflower and broccoli. And, once they put RFID chips in more and more foods, we will never be off the radar and by extension, if someone continually eats foods considered “bad” for us, will those people then be rejected for health care because they live an unhealthy lifestyle and the death panels will then have the facts they need to withhold treatment? Think this is a wild theory? Just think about it for a while. The more one thinks about it, the worse it gets.

     

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