Endangered Species Chocolate: Product launching and sweepstakes operation.

In the summer of 2018, Endangered Species Chocolate (ESC), a premium chocolate company with an emphasis on creating exceptional flavors, was leading up to the launch of their newest bar. This bar, a dark chocolate and salted peanut bar featuring the African Elephant on the label, was a highly requested item with anticipated high levels of excitement.

Strategizing for the ESC team, Matchbook recommended a sweepstakes to launch the product; making a larger marketing splash than launches prior and building a metric into the success of its implementation. The sweepstakes would send two lucky grand prize winners on a trip to Kenya with luxury accommodations, that would afford them the opportunity to interact up close with these majestic creatures. In order to generate as much buzz around the sweepstakes and launch of the bar as possible, ESC turned again to Matchbook for a multimedia campaign.


As a premium chocolate brand built around sustainable practices and charitable donations to aid conservation efforts around the globe, ESC is a powerfully mission-oriented company. Not only are they the first chocolate brand on earth to craft their product from 100% Fairtrade certified cocoa from West Africa, but they support endangered species across the globe with their annual 10% GiveBack program. They partner with nonprofits making a difference for species and habitats, pledging 10% of their annual net profits to further their efforts. They have given over $5 million to conservation causes since 2005, and continue to represent among the best in corporate charitable attitude.


In order to spread the word for this product launch and sweepstakes in a manner that was best positioned to resonate with their target audiences, we acted through channels and methods referenced in accordance with the research and strategies we had previously established. For this new campaign, we determined that digital marketing including eblasts and influencer marketing, strategic partnerships and earned media would all help to spread awareness around and engagement in the campaign. With messaging differentiated across platforms in accordance with our persona’s messages, each was best situated to generate buzz and influence entry. We developed a custom campaign landing page for entrants, reinforcing word of the elephant bar launch throughout the three months the campaign was active.

The ESC team partnered with Zulily to manage the sweepstakes. With Zulily’s most successful single-day chocolate sale under its belt with the partnership, ESC had strong indication this relationship would again reach its new personas. Matchbook coordinated alongside the team and provided all assets needed for a successful launch. Matchbook continued to monitor throughout the campaign to respond as needed to campaign shifts and successes. The three-month campaign launched in August 2018.

The last month of the sweepstakes, and the month of the product launch meant an intensive push in the days leading up to the end of the sweepstakes and the launch of the dark chocolate and salted peanut bar. Custom graphics and word of retail promotions in the five days leading up to the end of the campaign left interest and engagement high until the very end. Upon the launch of the bar and the end of the campaign, our multimedia efforts centered on an engaging strategy gave ESC the word of mouth and promotional power they needed for a successful launch of the bar.

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Early on in our campaign supporting the launch of the bar and the elephant sweepstakes, we surpassed set campaign goals. Over the course of this three-month campaign, the objective was to acquire 15,000 email entries. Due to intelligent messaging and placement that was highly visible to target consumers, we had acquired 30,000 email entries by week two.

The campaign’s eblasts and blog posts garnered increased attention for the launch and sweepstakes, while influencer posts reached a combined 12,396 likes with stories reaching 155,994 impressions.

This successful sweepstakes rollout and bar launch depended on a sophisticated strategy and media mix and allowed this premium company to launch an exciting new flavor with the fanfare they needed to add another leading product to their mission to preserve species, habitat and humanity across the globe.

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