The Pepper Hacker!

Technology has become synonymous with our everyday lives today.

We have convenient access to the internet 24/7 via our smartphones and can connect with friends and colleagues whenever and wherever we want. However, this has started to unfortunately encroach on the parts of our lives where we need to live in the moment to be able to create fond memories with our family and friends.

This presented a really interesting opportunity to make some noise in the market.

In this case study, we share the story of how Blue Star PROMOTE worked together with Dolmio (Mars Food) and their creative agency to help families disconnect to reconnect.


The pasta sauce market is very popular, but equally as competitive, with many brands competing in this space across every shopping store in Australia.

Mars Food was looking for a way to make their Dolmio range stand out to not only increase sales, but also align the brand with family life and treasuring important moments. Everyone has seen their advertising with the beautiful Italian family sharing a meal, and they wanted to build upon this in a practical and memorable way by introducing technology.

From this, their creative agency and our Blue Star PROMOTE team devised a strategy around creating conversations at the dinner table and sharing family time by turning off digital devices.

So, we decided to fight “fire with fire” by devising a way to use tech to counter tech!

Hence, the Pepper Hacker was born.

Watch the video here



The Pepper Hacker was a really novel and innovative idea that was bound to capture attention.

The concept was to have a fully functioning peppercorn grinder with a twist (no pun intended). With a simple click of the top button, the head would send out a signal around the family table which would redirect the home WiFi signal to devices and disable their internet access.

Kids and adults alike would see the following screen and would have to actually be involved in genuine family time!

To claim a Pepper Hacker device, Mars decided that a redemption process was to be put in place, where customers would send in barcodes to their office as proof of purchase.



This project comprised of three elements:

  1. Using innovation with technology
  2. Increasing brand awareness
  3. Driving sales numbers

To begin, we had to produce the actual product, which required us to investigate suppliers, find the right types of wood that we could bring into Australia, create the mould and everything else supply-chain related.

Next, we found a tech company that could work with our sourced provider together to install the chip components and make it work correctly.

As a result, we managed this complex production procedure from start to finish, which included vigorous testing to ensure it met the objectives and quality requirements of the project.

Once we were satisfied and the Pepper Hacker was approved, we organised for the complete shipment to enter Australia and adhered to the strict timelines to align perfectly with the rollout of Dolmio’s advertising campaign.



As part of this campaign, Blue Star fulfilled the following project requirements:

  • Assist in the development of custom designed products
  • Campaign merchandise
  • Ethical sourcing
  • Project management
  • Quality assurance
  • Warehouse management
  • Reporting and delivery

The overwhelming success of this campaign came from the way that the Pepper Hacker was able to spark interest in both the brand and product by offering customers a tangible and amusing way to improve family time which embodied the Dolmio persona.

The public absolutely loved it, and publications like Mumbrella were praising its originality.

In fact, it was so successful that we quickly found that our original shipment was not enough to keep up with demand and we had to reorder again!

The client was very happy with the brand boost and the pick up in sales, which hovered in the double-digits, and we were honoured to be a part of bringing family time back for Australians.


How can Blue Star help your business?

Branding is very important for all businesses today as it differentiates your products and allows customers to build a relationship with you.

To have a successful brand, your target audience must see it. The placement of your name or logo on a promotional item is a great way to raise brand awareness and can be included on almost any type of marketing item.

That’s where our team of specialists can help.

Our promotional product solutions creatively and effectively communicate the essence of your brand to enhance your marketing activities and generating more opportunities for customer engagement.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can promote your brand.

Phone: 1300 669 491