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Nickelytics collaborates with Kiwibot and the Stiletto Collective to put Rita’s Italian Ice on DC’s streets

The “Savor the Flavor with Rita’s Italian Ice” marketing campaign is using robots to share the prominent Italian ice brand with DC consumers.

Kiwibot's robots, branded with Rita's Italian Ice, advertise the restaurant. (Photo courtesy of Nickelytics)

Rita’s Italian Ice has hit the streets.

In collaboration with Kiwibot and the Stiletto Collective, Tampa-based Nickelytics has launched the “Savor the Flavor with Rita’s Italian Ice” campaign, which runs through Aug. 28. The goal is to bring awareness of Rita’s Italian Ice, which is headquartered near Philadelphia in Trevose, Pennsylvania, to DC through Out-Of-Home (OOH) advertising.

Nickelytics is a venture-backed adtech startup that specializes in hyperlocal OOH advertising. According to its CEO and cofounder Judah Longgrear, it mainly uses a gig economy platform in which Uber and Lyft drivers have branding on their vehicles to advertise companies.

“Whenever you see a brand that has that kind of legacy and brand awareness, [it] really kind of puts a very strong position [forth] in a very forward futuristic way,” Longgrear said. “So I think there’s a lot of emotion tied to it, in terms of people my age who ate them [Rita’s] growing up. So I think it just shows that brands are adapting to new, innovative ways of reaching consumers where they are, which is on the streets.”

According to its LinkedIn, Stiletto Collective is an ad agency in Austin, Texas. LinkedIn also lists Kiwibot, a robotics company known for its autonomous sidewalk delivery robots, as based in Berkeley, California.

“This partnership with Nickelytics opens up new creative opportunities for our delivery robots and allows us to showcase their versatility,” said David Rodriguez, cofounder and head of business at Kiwibot, in the press release. “Together, we can create delightful interactions that will make the ‘Savor the Flavor’ campaign an unforgettable experience for everyone.”

In addition to Rita’s Italian Ice branding on rideshare vehicles, Longgrear said Nickelytics provides a dashboard that tracks impressions and insights, such as how many people visited the client’s website. Kiwibot’s robots were also branded with Rita’s Italian Ice.

According to Longgrear, since Rita’s Italian Ice is the Stiletto Collective’s client, Nickelytics approached the ad agency for a collaboration. The Stiletto Collective then pitched the idea to Rita’s. Nickelytics also saw an opportunity to partner with Kiwibot due to its robots’ “futuristic looking and attention-grabbing” design.

“So the robots are kind of just an extension of that,” Longgrear said. “And so they’re on the street, they’re out eight to 10 hours today in hyperlocal areas delivering goods and delivering a lot of excitement and delight. In terms of when people see them in these areas, I’d say that’s kind of [related to] how the robots [are] the medium that delivers the ad, and then we connect it through an omnichannel digital way to be able to re-target those consumers through their mobile devices.”

Kiwibot’s robots also have a QR code that people can directly scan. The campaign measures how many people have done this, along with social media metrics. Longgrear said this touches on the Digital OOH marketing strategy.

“We feel that that’s critical — especially nowadays, where you’re so inundated with just digital advertising — bringing the physical real-world element to it. … So those are the ways that we measure success,” Longgrear said. “But ultimately, are we increasing not just the brand awareness, but are we also helping the brand to increase their point of sales, through the various ways that they sell their products?”

Longgrear said there has been a positive response to the campaign so far, which he thinks will increase especially as DC’s college students come back to campus. He noted that once the campaign has concluded, a case study would be put together to look at its impact.

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