It's hard to take a name like Chupa Chups seriously (pronounced choopa choop, in Spanish 'to lick a lollipop'). Luckily, it's exactly what Greg McCormick, VP-general manager of Chupa Chups USA, is hoping consumers don't do.
"Chupa Chups is all about fun," he says. "It's a brand for . . . people having fun with their friends and dates."
While the 40-year-old Spanish-born lollipop is one of the largest brands in Europe, Chupa Chups ranks fourth in U.S. lollipop sales behind Tootsie-Roll, Charms and Dum-Dums. But that's all changing quickly because of "organic marketing," according to Mr. McCormick.
Sampling at fashion shows, entertainment industry awards, sporting events, night clubs and exposure in the "Spice Girls" movie has generated demand for the lollipop, whose groovy daisy logo was designed by celebrated Spanish artist Salvador Dali in 1969.
"Our biggest challenge is trying to keep the brand as organic as it has been. That's been the key to our success," he explains. "Our consumer doesn't like to be advertised to so the challenge is to safeguard Chupa's mystique while still making it available to our consumers."
But that organic promotion is giving way to a national radio, TV and print campaign for Chupa Chups. Richards Group, Dallas, is the first agency to create national work for the brand.
"We have a huge opportunity to build a really wonderful brand," says Mr. McCormick, 39, whose background in brand management includes stints at Coca-Cola