Twix bar's global plunge puts Grey work to music

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Twix is putting a new spin on its marketing mix.

Music, showcased in two MTV-style spots, is the cornerstone of Twix Cookie Bar's first global campaign from its new ad agency, Grey Worldwide, New York. The $45 million account moved from D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, St. Louis, in March.

Ads feature musicians Ana-stacia, Hoku, Boyd Tinsley and Dean Roland. The singers, from groups such as the Dave Mat-thews Band and Collective Soul, play to Twix's core target audience: teens and young adults.

"Music has to be done right," said Bob Gamgort, VP-marketing at Twix parent M&M/Mars. "There's a credibility factor; that's why we decided to start the campaign with some celebrities."

The high-energy, quick-cut TV spots break next week. They combine each of three singers' different music genres to create one chantlike song. Each musical style, such as hip-hop or rock, is paired with a characteristic of a Twix bar.

In the first spot, Hoku's music is linked with Twix's chocolate; Mr. Roland sings about caramel, and Mr. Tinsley touts the cookie. Radio spots in a similar vein will follow. One, for example, is expected to combine hip-hop, rock and polka music. The tagline: "It's all in the mix."

The effort will include TV, print, radio and Internet ads plus national and grass-roots promotions, such as tie-ins with concerts.

In March, Grey bested fellow Mars roster shops D'Arcy and BBDO Worldwide, New York, to win Twix. Under incumbent D'Arcy's watch, single attributes of the bars were publicized, such as Twix's crisp cookie base or the two separate bars in one package.

NEW STRATEGIC DIRECTION

Mars put the account into review after deciding to try a new strategic direction. The agency's brief was to incorporate company research that showed the combination of Twix's ingredients -- chocolate, caramel and cookie -- made the bar unique. Mr. Gamgort acknowledged that the task posed to Grey, D'Arcy and BBDO was a challenge.

"It's a complicated creative brief," he said. "It's tough to come up with an ad that describes both what the product is and also describes the [brand's] personality. You need a lot of personality to reach teens."

Grey's music-centered pitch won Mars over from creative and practical angles, he said. In a category that often uses humor in advertising, Mars felt the music would help Twix stand out from the candy clutter.

An additional benefit, Mr. Gamgort added, is that the campaign can easily be tweaked to run overseas. "Humor tends to be country-specific, it's hard to translate," he said. "Music is transferable across borders."

The global effort will start in the U.S. and Europe. In addition, the "It's all in the mix" theme will be used for new-product introductions, such as the expected relaunch of a peanut butter-filled Twix.

Mars put the Twix account into review when sales were strong. While overall chocolate candy growth was 2%, Twix at the time was growing 11%, Mr. Gamgort said. "It wasn't a problem business."

Mars puts Twix sales at $250 million.

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