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Brief Published: 18 Aug 2015

Marmite’s 'Pay-by-Sentiment' Twitter Café

Marmite pop up Love cafe in Soho, London.

Playing on its long-running slogan 'You Either Love It Or You Hate It', British savoury spread brand Marmite has tapped into the trend for social-media-fuelled experiences with a weekend pop-up in Soho, London called The Marmite Love Café.

Dubbed "the world's first 'pay by sentiment' transaction café", the concept is anchored purely in consumers' Twitter activity. On arrival, when placing their orders, visitors were asked to input their Twitter handles into a "social media 'love-o-meter'". This fed their social data into a specially devised algorithm that analysed their last 200 tweets in order to assess their level of contentment. Those with largely positive messaging received their food and coffee for free, while those whose negative outlook was reflected within their online behaviour had to pay full price. Perhaps surprisingly, 94% of participants did not have to pay for their order.

The pop-up was sequestered discreetly within the existing café Soho Grind, affirming a taste for stealthier advertising over overt branding. For more on this, see Milan 2015: Branded Spaces and Rites, Rituals & Culture Clubs. The space was decorated in psychedelic patterns to reflect the designs of two special, limited-edition summer jars based on the 60s 'Summer of Love' (see also Commemorative Packaging).

This is not the first time that Marmite has used social-media-based innovation to put its polarising brand mantra in front of a digitally savvy audience. In 2012, it used a Twitter-activated interactive digital display on London's shopping mecca of Oxford Street – see Marmite's Interactive Xmas Display.

For more on pop-up retailing, see Pop-Ups Evolve: Tech & Social Media, Pop-Ups Evolve: Cultural Collisions, and Nomadic Retailing in our Future of the Store Industry Trend.

For more on key social media strategies, boosting engagement and sales, see The Social Media Sell Revisited, Hashtags for Handbags: Marc Jacobs, Redefining Consumer Loyalty for Digital Natives and Luxury Online for Millennials.

See also Café Culture.