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.)

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Companies: nestle

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Comments on “Nestle: Buy Our Candy So We Can Hunt You Down”

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78 Comments
Ninja (profile) says:

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

LDoBe (profile) says:

Re: 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!

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Cory of PC (profile) says:

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!

Tunnen (profile) says:

Re: 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

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 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?

Marcel de Jong (profile) says:

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?

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Oi! Techdirt writers.

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

Because most of us are American. We do geography the way we do healthy eating; which is to say, not at all….

In any case: sorry Europe. Hopefully this afront doesn’t lead to embassy riots….

lolzzzzz says:

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

abc gum says:

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.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: 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!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: 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.

GMacGuffin says:

Re: 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.)

Pray for the truthtellers says:

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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