Client: New England Confectionery Company
Project: Media launch of all new Sweethearts® candies for Valentine’s Day 2010
Create a long and short lead media campaign that reinforces key messaging points that Sweethearts are all new for 2010 with the target consumer- mom with kids. The 2010 Sweethearts have all new flavors, colors, packaging and phrases. These changes represent the first major changes to the brand in over 163 years, and, the first time the public was involved in selecting the sayings for Sweethearts.
- Ensuring that the program would resonate with both loyal brand fans and new, younger audiences.
- Creating excitement for the new edition of a classic candy that had not changed in decades.
- Tapping into a cultural trend of consumer generated media to be more relevant to new fans and expand the consumer base.
- Totally changing the way Sweethearts was announced from an annual special event held at The New England Confectionery Company’s headquarters to conducting an online contest.
Winning Strategies and Tactics:
- Executing three major phases of the campaign: 1) administering an online contest and a new Web site to engage consumers and name the 2010 phrases during the spring of 2009; 2) conducting a summertime long-lead media deskside tour in New York; and 3) securing short-lead national and regional media for the Valentine’s Day 2010 launch.
- The brand team championed the idea to let consumers submit expressions for the Sweethearts this year. We were able to create the “My Sweethearts” contest name, secure licensing for the URL www.MySweethearts.com and develop an interactive micro-site where Americans could submit their ideas for new sayings: “America’s first-ever opportunity to tell Sweethearts how they would like to express their sentiments of love through the iconic inscriptions on the Sweethearts candies.”
- Scheduling a blitz of meetings with twelve NYC magazine editors and the Sweethearts client to discuss all of the exciting changes to the brand.
- Capitalizing on the winning consumer generated phrase, “Tweet Me,” by approaching Twitter directly to collaborate on the launch of the new phrase, even though Twitter by nature doesn’t partner with other brands.
- Pitching an exclusive story to USA Today as a strategy to kick off coast-to-coast media coverage.
- Creating an interactive iPhone and Web application that allowed users to send virtual Sweethearts boxes with personalized sayings to friends and loved ones via their Twitter or email accounts, which allowed people to tweet the boxes to each other, thereby creating additional brand impressions and viral interactivity.
- Leveraging the iPhone application to entice coverage in digital media, which traditionally had not covered the brand.
- Generating thousands of consumer entries by driving traffic to the MySweethearts.com contest site, thereby changing the paradigm of how Sweethearts created its sayings from company developed to consumer generated.
- Securing contest coverage that included Good Morning America, Newsweek, Woman’s Day (February and Valentine’s Day issues), Fitness, First for Women, Real Simple, Family Circle, American Baby, Brandweek, Boston.com, Slashfood.com and Glamour.com, to name a few of the media outlets that promoted the contest news.
- Garnering more than 350 million media impressions leading up to and including Valentine’s Day, with the national news breaking via a USA Today exclusive and including notable national broadcast hits on The Early Show, The Today Show, CBS Sunday Morning and National Public Radio, as well as digital and technology media outlets.
- Inspiring the tweeting and emailing of nearly 10,000 virtual Sweethearts packages by consumers and spurring nearly 150,000 visits to the brand’s micro-site.
- Creating a tremendous amount of buzz and news coverage for the all-new Sweethearts candies.