Mikado Stick is the name of a product advertised by the Mikado brandnote in January 2015, on French social media. Said product consisted in a new version of the famous biscuit without its chocolate coating.
The product was first revealed on January 13th by Mikado's French Twitter and Facebook accounts, with the tagline "0% Chocolate, 100% Pleasure". It was immediately met with intense Internet Backlash, and the #MikadoStick hashtag skyrocketed in popularity, becoming the top trending Twitter topic in France. Soon after, the Fun Radio radio station launched the #LeMikadoSansChocolatCestAussiConQue hashtag ("A Mikado With No Chocolate Is As Dumb As"), which became the third most trending Twitter topic worldwide.
Along with the social media announcement, three commercials were also released on the company's YouTube channel. Each of them featured a family mother explaining how much she enjoyed Mikado Stick, and that her whole family enjoyed it as well. Said commercials also reeked with awkwardness, with punchlines delivered in a way that made the audience wonder if they were actually punchlines, followed by a silent pause that lasted just long enough to get uncomfortable, and background actors that seemed to wonder what they were doing there. They can be viewed here, here, and here.
Mikado responded to the hostile reactions with plenty of humor and Deadpan Snarking, going as far as to post Fake Advertisements for ridiculous products such as Mikado Box, Mikado Air, or Mikado Tradition, in order to mock people who complained about this new product. Other companies even started getting on the fun, such as Warner Bros. stating that "#AMikadoWithNoChocolateIsAsDumbAs Harry Potter with no wand".
Finally, on January 15th, a fourth commercial was released, revealing the whole campaign to be a joke all along, orchestrated by the Romance advertising agency, meant to intentionally generate backlash and to build up the reveal of the new Mikado King Choco product, with twice as much chocolate: "Now you know where all the chocolate went". While it ran the risk of being Overshadowed by Controversy, the campaign ended up being a success. The reveal was met with praise for the ingenious marketing, with most people ending up amused by how they had been fooled. According to the company, consumer engagement on Mikado social medias went up by 296% as a result of the campaign.
Tropes related to the Mikado Stick campaign:
- Brick Joke: The campaign introduces a new Mikado product with no chocolate... Only to reveal that said chocolate was used to create Mikado King Choco, which had twice as much chocolate as regular Mikado biscuits.
- Captain Obvious: One of the taglines for the product was "Mikado Stick: No chocolate, otherwise there would be".
- Deadpan Snarker: Mikado's Twitter account answered many customer complaints with sarcastic mock advertisement pictures and comments:Original Tweet: "Woops, big marketing failure from Mikado."Response: "Our entire marketing plan for 2016 goes down with a single tweet."Original Tweet: "Mikado Stick is worse than a scam, might as well not eat anything."Response: "Mikado Box: 0% Chocolate, 100% Cardboard."Original Tweet: "Sell actual wood sticks while you're at it."Response: "Mikado Trunk: 0% Chocolate, 100% Nature."Original Tweet: "Can't wait for invisible Mikados."Response: "Don't spoil our 2016 marketing plan!"Original Tweet: "Mikado picked up our hashtag from this morning #AMikadoWithNoChocolateIsAsDumbAs"Response: "#AMikadoWithNoChocolateIsAsDumbAs Fun Radio with no fun!"Original Tweet: "A Mikado with no chocolate is like a cupcake with no frosting, there's no point."Response: "Sweetie, a cupcake with no frosting is a muffin."Original Tweet: "Come on, a Mikado with no chocolate... That's no longer a Mikado."Response: "If a Mikado with no chocolate is no longer a Mikado, is chocolate with no Mikado still chocolate?"
- Parody Commercial: The whole campaign itself, obviously, but also the various mock advertisement posted by Mikado that promoted such ridiculous products as Mikado Box, Air Mikado, or Mikado Trunk.
- Slogans: Several of them.
- "0% Chocolate, 100% Pleasure."
- "We only kept the best part."
- "No chocolate, otherwise there would be."
- For the real product, Mikado King Choco: "Now you know where all the chocolate went".
TV Stick: 0% Tropes, 100% Pleasure.