Case Studies
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January 29, 2024

Case Study: Crumbl Cookies

Crumbl Cookies is a rapidly growing cookie company offering fresh gourmet cookies in a rotating weekly menu. Founded in 2017 in Utah, Crumbl has expanded to over 500 locations in 40+ states with a viral following, especially among millennials and Gen Z.

Miniature figures climbing a tower of chocolate chip cookies

Crumbl Cookies is a rapidly growing cookie company offering fresh gourmet cookies in a rotating weekly menu. Founded in 2017 in Utah, Crumbl has expanded to over 500 locations in 40+ states with a viral following, especially among millennials and Gen Z.

Leveraging Hive3's AI-powered platform and community of over 1500 creators, Crumbl sponsored a challenge to reinvent their existing cookie ads with a fresh and innovative social media campaign. The brief challenged the community to propose engaging new cookie ad concepts optimized for social media. Goals included maintaining their fun, indulgent essence while emphasizing use of high-quality ingredients as Crumbl continue expanding nationwide.

Crumbl's Challenge

In just 5 days, over 250 unique campaign ideas were generated by the Hive3 community, with 3 top concepts awarded the prize pool. The high volume and breadth of ideas validated the power of AI-assisted collaborative ideation. The judging process for the submissions by Crumbl's executive team also yielded interesting insights about the integration of AI into a businesses' creative process. Some observations:

  • The creative submissions were highly reflective of the challenge brief, and thus prompted reflection upon the original design ask by Crumbl. When returning to the brief, executives realized what elements of the brief were truly "important" to them, and what could have been omitted to reduce creator confusion and misdirection
  • Executives ended up choosing winning designs that were extremely visually different from anything the brand had done before, and all three winners were also extremely visually different from each other. The breadth of creative submissions had allowed them to consider and explore new visual directions that they previously never would have considered, but now are intrigued.
  • While none of the challenge submissions were considered to be final, publishable assets, the winning submissions were leveraged as the base of new marketing campaigns that their teams could then execute upon.

"The next frontier of marketing is generative AI."  -Mai Pham, EVP of Growth
3 images stitched together, including a cookie with miniature figurines, a chocolate boat sailing down a cookie river, and a cookie with ingredients exploding out of it

Key Takeaways:

  • Leveraging generative AI facilitates access to fresh branding perspectives from a diverse talent pool, resulting in high volumes of innovative ideation.
  • The submission evaluation process provides an opportunity for brands to reflect on what creative elements are truly essential versus superfluous when conveying their core messaging and visual identity.
  • An influx of varied creative options allows brands to consider visual directions that may be new territory, but intriguing when viewed through the lens of AI and a community of creators.
  • While submissions may not be final publishable assets, brands can leverage winning ideas as inspiration to then execute campaigns aligned to refined creative strategies.
  • Brands can rapidly test the boundaries of their visual identities and creative positioning through AI co-creation. This informs future innovation that remains recognizable and on-brand.

In summary, opening up ideation through human-AI collaboration generates fertile ground for brands to explore their visual potential while better understanding what creative guardrails best support their strategic needs. The insights gained help evolve brands in an authentic way.

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