RXBar ends Ice-T campaign, shifts marketing message from 'No B.S.' to 'simple good'
RXBar is shifting its marketing to focus on the ingredients it uses with less emphasis on the “No B.S.” mission that’s been part of the protein bar brand since its early days.
A year ago, rapper and actor Ice-T was the face of RXBar in its first major campaign, which came from Wieden & Kennedy Portland. Now, the brand is working under the leadership of a new chief marketing officer, with the help of an undisclosed agency, to spread its message of “simple good.”
“We wanted to go back into a lot of the DNA and the legacy on which the company (and) the product was built on,” says Chief Marketing Officer Victor Lee.
The “simple good” message is, in many respects, a safer line than “No B.S.” Yet, like last year’s campaign, it is still done with a wink and a nod. In one of the new digital video ads, a hand giving the middle finger to the hand of another person grabbing an RXBar is blurred out.
The brand, which was acquired by Kellogg Co. in 2017, on Monday also began selling its new oats product on its website. It plans to expand distribution of the cups of oats, almonds, dates, egg whites and other ingredients, into stores and with Amazon.
Lee joined RXBar in early 2019, months after the campaign featuring Ice-T was running.
“What we didn’t do a lot of in the other one was really highlight and showcase the simplicity of the product itself,” he says of the earlier campaign.
The “No B.S.” line remains “as part of our mantra for the company” and will remain on the packaging, Lee says. The wording and the bright packaging with major ingredients listed on the front have helped RXBar differentiate itself in the crowded protein bar category, where it competes against the likes of Clif and Kind, which have been calling each other out over their ingredients.
Now, though the focus is on “simple good.” There are close-ups of ingredients such as dates, eggs and nuts in the videos, which were made for online viewing. There is a voiceover but the ads can be understood even if people have the sound off, as they might while watching on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube, some of the places it is set to run. Each of the spots begins with a mock play button, the kind one is used to seeing when watching online videos.
Lee declined to name the agency behind the campaign. He says the brand will work with the undisclosed shop through the remainder of 2019.
Media is being handled in-house and also by an undisclosed agency. Spending wasn’t disclosed, but Lee places it in line with last year’s levels when excluding the broadcast TV spots that aired in 2018. There are no plans to run the new spots on TV.
The majority of the new digital spots feature the bars, but some of the advertising also showcases nut butters, which were added to the lineup in 2018.