Gushers came to us with a big ask: Re-launch their brand after several years of being dormant, pivot how it’s marketed from a fruit snack to a candy, activate its teen audience in a positive way, and drive volume by getting current fans to ask for one more box.
So, how did we achieve such lofty goals with a limited budget?
1. Be on their turf and in their terms.
Teens can see through traditional advertising. They’re looking for brands to make real connections with them.
To make best use of Gushers’ budget, we built our content strategy based on where our core audience was – and gave them content in their terms. That meant no Facebook, no daily postings and no heavily branded content. We launched Instagram and Snapchat accounts, with memes, teen influencers and 1:1 positive interactions in a world of mean-spirited candies.
2. Own a moment and give teens something to gush about.
To drive awareness of the re-launch of Gushers, we created a program called “Fortune Teller” across Snapchat and Instagram.
Based on the insight that no two packs of Gushers are the same, we asked teens to 1:1 Snap us their pack of Gushers, and in response we’d send them their fortune for the upcoming school year. In an effort to achieve scale, we activated five influencers, who took over Gushers Snapchat throughout the program to serve as “Guest Fortune Tellers.”
The campaign generated nearly 3 million organic impressions, 131K organic engagements and more than 1,000 1:1 Snaps. We attributed our success to owning an important and brand-right moment: The start of a new school year.
3. Encourage non-traditional, immersive brand experiences – and get others to talk about us.
To build off the success of “Fortune Teller,” we collaborated with Snapchat and Gushers’ media agency to build a national Snapchat Lens targeted to teens. We integrated unique features, leveraged Snapchat best practices and strategized/ideated a Lens even Model Chrissy Teigen had to try!
The national Lens generated more than 18 MM views – 165% better than Snapchat’s average. Engagement results reflected our efforts to ensure the Lens was an unique experience – in a place teens interact daily.
4. Partner with influencers who actually love your brand.
In order to maximize our impact, we partnered with NFL Pro-Bowler Richard Sherman, an avid Gushers fan and huge influencer, to use the Lens and spread the word. This activation was a part of a larger initiative with Sherman, for which we produced unique video content featuring him interacting with Gushers in extreme ways.
Sherman’s posts, in total, drove 1.8MM engagements with the Gushers brand, including one video with 5X the typical engagement he sees on his posts.
5. Tap into small community management insights to create big programs.
Lastly, we created buzz about new Super Sour Gushers launch through a campaign rooted in the insight that teens think advertising is cringey. We noticed through community management that teens would use the word “cringe” when they didn’t like one of our memes. This – coupled with the product truth that Super Sour Gushers are so sour that they’ll make you cringe – made for a strong campaign.
We created content showing a positive spin on “cringey” moments, as well as partnered with a set of influencers, who filmed videos recreating a “cringey” moment from their past.
The program delivered 1.4 million organic impressions, 1.1 million interactions and overall positive sentiment from our teen target.
In whole, in less than nine months, we were able to grow a passionate and engaged fanbase to the tune of 50,000+ Instagram followers. Our content was so eye-catching that our account was featured on College Humor. And, we didn’t even have to seek out influencers as NFL star Richard Sherman, Vanderpump Rules reality star Jax Taylor and teen heartthrob Christian Leave reached out to us about partnerships first.
But, most importantly, we successfully re-launched Gushers in a way that drove conversation and incremental volume.