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In a triumph for smart packaging, flexo and digital printing, and promotional marketing, Hungry Jack's has launched its biggest ever on-pack promotion –  UNO at Hungry Jack's –  delivered by a cross-industry collaboration between the fast food chain, Result Group, TLC Marketing, Multi-color Corporation and Detpak.

Result Group was the project lead, managing the game development and packaging deployment, drawing on the company's  expertise in unique variable data, promotional implementation and management, as well as its know-how in industry-specific application machinery and processes to bring the promotion to life.

Luke Pavan, marketing director at Hungry Jack's, said, “Result Group have played a pivotal role in bringing the UNO at Hungry Jack’s campaign to life. The rigorous testing and problem-solving abilities to apply the UNO Game Card Panels on our Hungry Jack’s packaging has been flawless, and the final output truly showcases the quality of work. Thanks to Result Group, the collaboration with UNO will not only deliver a unique brand experience by having compelling packaging for customers to engage with during the promotion, but remind our customers of the unique, flame-grilled flavour at Hungry Jack’s.”

As Food & Drink Business sister publication PKN discovered, it is a multifaceted, highly complex project, deploying the latest in intelligent packaging technology and the expertise of all the stakeholders. So strap in as we unpack how it was done...

The back story

Twelve months ago, Hungry Jack’s appointed Result as the head packaging developer and risk manager for an integrated marketing campaign based on the card game UNO, owned by toy company Mattel.

The promotion has a prize pool in excess of $80 million, and the Result team was charged with assessing, mitigating and eliminating future risks in marketing for the UNO campaign.

Result was tasked with developing the consumer game piece and then applying it to consumer packaging, specifically the Hungry Jack's drink cups and fries scoops.

At the outset, Result worked with Hungry Jack’s to identify the different concepts associated with the project’s complexity and, in particular, the factors and characteristics related to the complexity of the label development.

Given the complexity of the execution, sourcing a label partner was no easy task. Initially, a global partner outsourcing exercise was explored in the US and Europe, however, a partnership on home soil was ultimately established with Multi-color Corporation (MCC).

The partnership drew on MCC’s world-class expertise in label solutions in both conventional and digital printing, simplifying processes, maintaining compliance and driving cost savings for what is arguably one of the most complicated labels ever developed with a prize distribution, and, according to the project stakeholders, "as complex as ever acheived in promotional printing in Australia".

Promotions and game design

The promotion takes inspiration from popular board game UNO. 

Hungry Jack's UNO is ‘free to play’ for customers when they buy a regular or large value meal from Hungry Jack’s. The regular and large drink cups and fries scoops come with two or three (respectively) game ‘cards’ that allow customers to match and win a variety of major non-food prizes, minor non-food prizes, food and beverage prizes or 'No Win' with the option of a second chance draw.

TLC Marketing negotiated the UNO agreement with Mattel and provided all the non-food prize partners, which include . There major prizes including cars, holidays and home entertainment. TLC Marketing agency director, Cindy Tsang, said, “It was a pleasure to work with Result Group who managed to bring to life Hungry Jack’s biggest ever on-pack promotion – executed beautifully.”

There is also a high consumer engagement factor with a one in four instant-win chance across the entire volume of product in market.

There are cards with unique codes that can be redeemed online for the major instant win prizes and cards printed with unique 2D codes that are redeemed at store level across the counter directly into Hungry Jack’s point of sale (POS) terminals all across Australia.

The cards consist of four different colours (red, yellow, green, blue) as well as the ‘Wild,’ ‘Skip,’ ‘Draw Two/Four,’ and ‘Reverse’ action cards. Instant win prizes, unique codes for redemption management in both a human readable and 2D code format as well as regulatory terms-and-conditions-type static data are all printed on more than 10 million game pieces used across the promotional period of up to six weeks.

Participating in the promotion is easy. The consumer simply buys food, peels ‘open’ the label, and the pairs of UNO game cards tell the story of the instant win. This simplicity, at least on the consumer’s side, is one of the key reasons why Hungry Jack’s UNO campaign is anticipated to be a huge success, according to the project team.

However, it gets more complex as the mechanics of the promotion are dissected in more detail.

Hungry Jack’s UNO makes use of a number of different complex gamification mechanisms and packaging technologies to create a fun, enticing and highly engaging experience for customers. 

The label

First of all, there’s the game label ‘cards’ themselves. The peel-to-reveal action and the design of the label allow for UNO game-pairing. The label is a specially developed peel-open sandwich construction consisting of a peel-off coupon and a leave-behind layer.

The production of the label component involves both conventional flexographic and digital printing presses and then a specialised converting system to bring the game piece together. The latter enabled mass customisation of the cards via digital technology, allowing elements such as text and graphics to be changed from one printed card to the next without stopping or slowing down the printing process.

“It is truly a remarkable printing exercise undertaken by MCC,” Michael Dossor, Result Group GM said.

Using computer databases, digital print devices and highly effective software MCC created high-quality, full colour game pieces for the fries scoops and drinks cups with a look and feel comparable to the highest quality printing. All labels supplied are traceable to each manufactured roll and unit produced. 

Data generation

Data generation for the Human Readable Unique Codes, 2D DataMatrix and relevant artwork was created by Result Group using the company's propriety code management tool, developed and enhanced since 2003 and used for many large Australian and New Zealand promotions.

The software allowed the generation of codes with a complete print-ready alphabet spread, based on the approved number character code. 

The DataMatrix for the game cards was carried out using HP Indigo technology at MCC. The compact 2D (two-dimensional barcodes) were the ideal choice allowing for a seamless flow of standardised data throughout the supply chain and facilitating the storage of a large amount of data in a relatively small space.

Furthermore, the Hungry Jack’s crew has the ability to scan the 2D barcodes featured on winning game labels into the POS system to verify and redeem food prizes for all instant wins at a store level, enabling fast and efficient handling, critical to a quick service restaurant (QSR) environment. 

Packaging applications

For the automation of label application, Result Group, with its partner Herma, designed and engineered servo-driven self-adhesive applicators for best speed and accuracy.

Label application for both the drink cups and fries scoops is via the customised Herma applicators; labels were applied in Australia and abroad. All installs were managed during a pandemic where overseas travel was not an option. 

“We were proud to partner with foodservice packaging innovators, Detpak, in the delivery of the UNO promotion. Their reputation as a provider of high quality, custom printed packaging solutions as well as entrepreneurial spirit to make brands shine, ensured the successful delivery of this high level customised and innovative project,” says Dossor.

“Detpak’s commitment to sustainability meant it was imperative to maximise the rate of production through existing equipment and reduce waste, thus we were able to seamlessly integrate the applicators into Detpak’s existing production lines. The integration meant less waste and more sustainable manufacturing.”   

Testing

Three levels of testing were carried out at store, functional and supply chain level.  The full supply chain testing was carried out on completion of the label printing.

The challenge was overcoming the many parameters that could have affected the functionality of the label especially with production being undertaken in two different parts of the world.

“Environmental conditions such as temperature, air pressure and humidity can affect the quality of the labels, so it was imperative that testing and analysis considered all these environmental variables as well as the physical ones encountered in a global and domestic supply chain,” Dossor explains. “Bottom line, the effect on the label printing, shipping and application process was critical to the success of the game piece reaching the consumers’ hands.”

The right partner

Change in process is always a hard sell. Couple this with environments that simply can’t slow down, stop or loose efficiency and then add a gaming solution with risk into a repetitive production environment and production and technical personnel are understandably nervous.

“We have pretty much seen it all,” says Dossor. “Advertisers and marketers wanting to make amazing offers to consumers, and production staff worried not just about the impact on the manufacturing line, but the chance of operators or printers making a decision that could adversely affect the program.”

Dossor says Result offers both on and off-line process control software, printing/labelling equipment and manage the risk as well as the technical production aspects. 

“These programs are usually required quickly, and Result has built processes and technology to deliver within those customer expectations.”

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