Global highlight: Wrigley's 'Doublemint 17885'

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The Chinese don't chew a lot of gum. Trying to change that, Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. is promoting Doublemint with a reality TV show that provides advice and tips about grooming to enhance self-confidence. Although China is Wrigley's No. 2 market after the U.S., that's more due to China's sheer size than the popularity of chewing gum, which was virtually unknown in China just two decades ago.

Many Chinese consumers aren't well-educated about oral hygiene, but a growing number of young professionals entering the work force are concerned about bad breath, inspiring Wrigley to focus on fresh breath.

The weekly TV show "Doublemint 17885" (which sounds like "Doublemint together help me" in Chinese) airs on regional and local stations in 74 cities. The program was developed with Joy Media Group, one of China's largest independent producers of reality, drama and variety programming.

Each episode follows a Chinese person preparing for an important social encounter such as a job interview, a blind date or a first meeting with a future mother-in-law. A panel of experts gives tips and advice to help the participant overcome anxieties or other difficulties, providing him or her with a sense of confidence and, of course, gum as a breath-freshener. The show, developed with Leo Burnett and Mediaedge:cia, both in Guangzhou, China, is promoted with a website (dm17885.com.cn) and bus-shelter ads.

"The show fits well with our message of 'fresh breath, a success helper,' as fresh breath from Doublemint gives one more confidence to meet and interact with people," said David Glass, Wrigley's Guangzhou, China-based marketing director. "'Doublemint 17885' is not a glamorous show. Instead it is about helping real people to make a fresh start in their daily lives."
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