Merry Hill Kids Get Creative with Cookies

Here’s a great way to introduce shoppers to a new brand at your center: give some serious hands-on time to its best market. Westfield Merry Hill recently did just that when Millie’s Cookies took up residence.

To celebrate the opening of its new kiosk at the center, Millie’s Cookies invited a group of pupils from a local school have had a unique art lesson with a foodie twist. Students from St Mary’s RC took their art class on the road to the center to take part in a cookie decorating lesson.

The children let their imaginations go wild, drawing up their best plans for new cookie designs. Then the Millie’s Cookies team of bakers picked out a winning design, created by Rosie Nag, aged 7. The bakers whipped the cookie up and presented it to Rosie and her classmates for a good look. Then it was auctioned off to raise funds for a school in Gambia, the pet cause of St Mary’s RC.

“We really wanted to work with some of the local schools in the community; all of the pupils from St Mary’s RC were extremely enthusiastic and fully embraced the creative challenge,” said Coleen Simon, Manager at Millie’s Cookies Merry Hill. “Along with being able to see the high standard of design ideas from the children, auctioning the giant cookie was also a special highlight.”

We just hope they spared a few cookies for the children: everyone knows the fastest way to kids hearts is through their stomachs, and these kids are undoubtedly spreading tales of their cookie-inspired giving far and wide.

Written by Nissa on March 7, 2012 – 12:33 pm -
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Posted in Cause Marketing | No Comments »

Botany Town Centre Makes May Mother’s Month

Mother’s Day is over, but that doesn’t mean that it’s time to forget about Mom for the rest of the year. Botany Town Centre is using social media to bring shoppers closer to their moms every day this month.

The center has set up a kiosk that lets shoppers create a video to express their thankfulness to their moms. The videos can go out on Facebook, email or YouTube, so the whole world can share in those tugging heartstrings.

Meanwhile, throughout the month Botany Town Centre will be accepting nominations for Aukland’s best moms. It’s looking for women who go above and beyond the call of duty for their families. The centre is encouraging people to send in their nominations by explaining, in 250 words or less, why their mum is so special.

The top 10 nominees as chosen by the contest judges will be invited to attend a high tea at the end of the month. Each nominee will receive a goody bag, and the overall winner will be awarded a $500 Botany Town centre gift card, an Image Oasis treatment voucher valued at $300, and a Hoyts La Premiere gift card valued at $200.

Moms who shop at the center also have a chance to receive random acts of kindness to the tune of center gift cards. Botany Town Centre is posting hints on its Facebook wall to help shoppers know where and when to expect those lucky moments.

Written by Nissa on May 11, 2011 – 6:24 pm -
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Posted in This Week's News | No Comments »

Road to Fusion 2011: The Pepsi Dream Machine

PepsiCo is pulling all the stops to promote its Dream Machine. A spoof short with actor Aisha Tyler of CSI fame (view the video at, a Facebook page and YouTube presence are just a few of the tactics that the beverage giant hopes will boost participation in its recycling initiative.

Dream Machine is the focus of a multi-year collaboration between PepsiCo, Waste Management, Keep America Beautiful and Greenopolis. The interactive kiosk allows consumers to recycle their pop bottles and cans, and then earn various rewards like discounted products and movie tickets. In shopping centers, the kiosks also display tenants’ offers and event information.
On Day Two of the ICSC Fusion Conference, delegates will have a chance to learn more about the Dream Machine. It will be one of the case studies presented during a session entitled, “Reduce Operating Costs and Still Provide a Unique Customer Experience.” Delivering the goods will be speakers Dan Rose, director of commercial property management (Midwest Group) for Waste Management, Inc.; Beth Sauerhaft, senior manager for environmental stewardship at PepsiCo; and The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes team members Wendy Thompson (GM) and Jennie Zafft (marketing director).

Last fall, PepsiCo marked the launch of its CSR initiative with a $500,000 donation to the Entrepreneurial Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV), a national program that offers career training, education and job creation to post-9/11 veterans with disabilities. The company intends to make that an annual contribution, and it has also pledged to donate an additional $250,000 to EBV for every 10 million pounds of recycled material it collects in Dream Machine kiosks and static bins, with the ultimate goal of increasing the U.S. beverage container recycling rate from 34 percent to 50 percent by 2018.

Despite the positive PR that it has enjoyed, the Dream Machine couldn’t avoid creating a bit of controversy, with sustainability watchdogs arguing that the cost of producing and running the interactive kiosks might offset the recycling benefits. They also claim that the promise of receiving rewards will only create more demand for the products—that would no doubt be just fine with PepsiCo.
Maybe the solution would be to encourage consumers to stop using those bottles and cans altogether. Instead, an entrepreneurial mind could invent reusable pop mugs. Before you know it, you could be seeing people line up at a movie theater’s concession stand to order their personal, medium, caffeine-free, half-sweet, no-ice Pepsi. Stranger things have happened.

Myriam Beaugé, Editor in Chief, Tactics Magazine

Written by Nissa on March 16, 2011 – 12:21 pm -
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Posted in Road to... | No Comments »

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