University of Wisconsin-Madison freshman Sam Jeschke meets tens of
thousands using Mentos Gum and converts surprise challenge into a year
of free tuition
ERLANGER, Ky.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–On college campuses nationwide, welcome week activities are designed to
help incoming freshmen meet their new classmates. But thanks to Mentos
Gum, it’s possible no freshman in America has connected with more of
their classmates than the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Sam Jeschke.
To reinforce how the simple act of sharing Mentos Gum can create lasting
connections, the brand surprised Jeschke with an
epic challenge on freshmen move-in day: Connect with his campus
community using 43,000 bottles of Mentos Gum to earn a free DJ Khaled
concert for UW-Madison students and a year of free tuition for himself.
After the initial shock wore off, Jeschke took the challenge in stride
and visited every inch of campus, including the Kohl Center, Memorial
Union Terrace and Union South. His mission was documented for the
microsite SamHasMentosGum.com and Mentos Gum social media channels.
“I have never been so stunned in my life. I went from thinking I was
going to pass out a few samples to getting my own hashtag, messages of
support from DJ Khaled and one heck of a challenge,” Jeschke said. “But
the best part was all of the people I met. The entire student body
rallied behind me. It was an experience I’ll never forget.”
Jeschke shared the final bottles Tuesday night just hours before the
deadline during an annual first-year student event at Camp Randall
Stadium. The stadium erupted in cheers when a personal message from DJ
Khaled congratulated Jeschke and announced he was coming to campus.
“Thanks to Sam, Mentos Gum is thrilled to bring DJ Khaled to the
University of Wisconsin-Madison to celebrate this impressive
accomplishment,” said Sylvia Buxton, Vice President Marketing for
Perfetti Van Melle North America. “The #SamHasMentosGum challenge proved
that even at a time when we’re happy to hide behind our smartphones and
resort to social media for human interaction, a gesture as small as
sharing Mentos Gum is really all it takes to connect with someone.”
DJ Khaled was in on the surprise from day one. He recorded a personal
video message for Jeschke to help issue the challenge and a celebratory
video to help announce Jeschke’s success. He also supported the campaign
with numerous social media posts and national media interviews.
“Sam did it like we knew he would,” DJ Khaled said. “I am coming for
University of Wisconsin-Madison and we are going to light up the stage.”
DJ Khaled will perform on Monday, October 30 at the Kohl Center. The
free concert is exclusive to UW-Madison students. For more information
about securing tickets, please visit UWBadgers.com.
Mentos Gum and its creative agency, Fast
Horse, developed the fully integrated campaign #SamHasMentosGum to
help rally support from college campuses nationwide. The brand partnered
with University of Wisconsin-Madison to create the ruse by offering a
brand ambassador role to all incoming freshmen during welcome week.
Mentos Gum received hundreds of submissions but Jeschke quickly rose to
the top. During the final in-person interview, the brand captured photos
of Jeschke which were used, unbeknownst to the freshman, in the
In addition to the campaign microsite, the campaign included a
sweepstakes for a VIP package to attend the DJ Khaled performance in
Madison, social media content (including Snapchat star Sara Hopkins),
digital advertising, and sponsorship of the Wisconsin football team’s
season-opening home game at Camp Randall Stadium which aired nationally
About DJ Khaled
DJ Khaled’s latest album Grateful (We The Best Music Group/Epic
Records) debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 and was
certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America on
August 23, 2017. A major force in the music industry, mogul, executive,
mega producer and recording artist, DJ Khaled, known as the “Anthem
King” and commonly referred to as the “Quincy Jones of Hip Hop & R&B”,
has made dozens of chart topping hit records featuring JAY Z, Kanye
West, Drake, Chris Brown, Ludacris, T.I., French Montana, Future, Big
Sean, Rick Ross, John Legend, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne, among others.
About Perfetti Van Melle
Perfetti Van Melle is a global leader in the confectionery business and
is the third-largest candy and gum manufacturer in the world. PVM
creates imaginative products and brands that are enjoyed in more than
150 countries, including beloved brands like Mentos and Airheads.
Mentos is in 159 countries on this planet alone, so it’s fair to say
Mentos is a global brand. Mentos comes in a lot of different shapes,
flavors, and sizes, so there’s something for everyone and every taste. A
lot of other brands out there obsess about what makes us all different;
we’d rather explore the things we have in common. The Mentos brand is
well-known. And it’s well-loved too. So wherever you go, one thing you
can be sure of when you meet someone new is that they love Mentos. This
means that if you have Mentos in your hand you have the ultimate
conversation starter, a sure way to make a connection. All you need to
do is offer.
After all, who says no to Mentos?
Stephanie Creech, 1-859-786-8380