|Hershey is moving beyond traditional advertising formats with a Take Five candy bar campaign that included the use of tens of thousands of buzz-marketing evangelists and a Web game that plays off its video ads. Click to see larger photo.
Chief Marketing Officer Michele Buck has been charged with upping marketing innovation at Hershey, a strategy evidenced by a full-scale blitz that begins March 13 to tout Take 5’s “Taste and Believe” positioning. Unlike the brand’s 2005 launch, which focused $17 million on traditional TV, the effort includes 69,000 buzz-marketing evangelists and a Web game that plays off Take 5’s TV ads.
Jay Cooper, VP-U.S. Chocolate at Hershey, said the “360-degree” campaign is part of Hershey’s more concerted effort to “understand who our consumers are and reach them in more relevant, compelling ways, not just one platform.” While Mr. Cooper said Take 5 was Hershey’s top new candy brand last year, the “significant investment” this year shows Hershey believes it can grow sales of the bar well beyond the $28 million it garnered last year in food, drug and mass outlets excluding Wal-Mart, according to Information Resources Inc.
Research showed the initial launch campaign from Omnicom Group’s DDB, New York, which focused on the bar’s five ingredients -- pretzels, chocolate, peanuts, peanut butter and caramel -- was too complex for consumers, who were far more impressed with the bar’s taste.
“We know from research that there is a lot of passion around the brand and we want to reach consumers at those different passion points, whether on the Web, in movie theaters or with PR programs and contests,” said Misha Jenkins, marketing manager for Take 5 at Hershey.
The brand’s agency, Havas’ Arnold, New York, won the business in late September based on the idea of offering Hershey a one-stop shop for both its traditional and nontraditional marketing needs. John Staffen, Arnold’s executive creative director and a longtime DDB-er who formerly worked on the Hershey account, said the new approach is designed to further the momentum on the bar’s good initial trial numbers and build on the passion of its loyal consumers through “a more aggressive, focused and targeted effort rather than just an ad campaign.”
Hershey, together with Arnold, brought in BzzAgent, Boston, to get roughly 69,000 brand evangelists to deliver samples into the hands of prospective buyers in the 18- to 34-year-old range based on the premise Arnold developed that Take 5 is “the greatest candy bar ever.” In addition, Hershey will use its own Web site, thegreatestcandybarever.com, to enlist consumers to sign up to become evangelists, offering those who sign up samples to give to friends and family.
The tactics dovetail with a TV campaign featuring six 15-second spots humorously depicting how far consumers might go to get a Take 5 bar. Ads will also run extensively on AOL, tickle.com and espn.com, as well as in movie theaters, where Hershey will also do extensive sampling. A consumer promotion April 17 through July 31 offers Take 5 fans the chance to submit their own 60-second commercials explaining why Take 5 is the greatest candy bar ever. Consumers will be able to vote on the final five submissions online.