- Airheads, the taffy-like candy marketed by confectioner Perfetti Van Melle, this month launched a digital video campaign that toys with the idea of hitting the "skip ad" button to make real-life moments more playful. Its video spots are running on Facebook, Ibotta, Pandora, Snapchat, Spotify, TrueX Interactive, YouTube and programmatically, per information emailed to Marketing Dive.
- The six- and 15-second spots show people in a variety of settings — including a horror movie, working on a construction site or visiting a garage sale — when the Airheads logo appears along with the words "skip button." After clicking the button, the characters engage in some kind of skipping activity, such as jumping rope. Each spot ends with the tagline, "Play more. Play delicious."
- Airheads is working with Highdive, which became the brand's agency of record in December, on the "Skip Ad" campaign. Highdive this year also created a campaign for Fruit-tella, the gummy candy made with real fruit that's also marketed by Perfetti Van Melle, according to the agency.
The "Skip Ad" campaign for Airheads humorizes a common feature of digital video ads — the skip button that lets viewers avoid sitting through a commercial — by showing how people can make moments more enjoyable with the candy. The ad creative was inspired by the idea that consumers are seeking out game-related content and experiences amid more passive entertainment like online video. By running the spots on digital media platforms that carry skippable ads, Airheads aims to make light of the popular format in a way that could appeal to those who are spending more time online during the pandemic.
"As play-hungry adults are seeking out more and more content and experiences, we wanted to make more play possible," Jamey Lamb, brand director of Airheads, said in the emailed statement. "And while most people have grown accustomed to the skip ad function — it's rather expected and mundane — so we thought, why don't we bring a little bit of play into an increasing part of our media consumption?"
Airheads is among the candy brands that have launched recent digital media campaigns, especially with Easter being a key period of candy sales. Peeps marshmallow candies returned for Easter with a campaign that asked people to share their "Peepsonality," including digital content, a mobile game takeover and limited-edition merchandise. Candymaker Mars last month collaborated with video network Tastemade and Pinterest to create several do-it-yourself videos for its Dove Silky Smooth Promises dark chocolate and M&M's Minis for Easter. Sour Patch Kids, the candy from Mondelez International, also began offering cash prizes and candy to select TikTok users who posted videos of their pranks for April Fools' Day. The marketer teamed with five TikTok creators known for prank content to spread its branding, marking a return to more traditional advertising after taking a more serious tone during the pandemic.
The campaigns for candy brands follow a year of growth for the industry as consumers bought more treats to indulge themselves amid pandemic stresses. Non-chocolate candy sales grew 2.9%, while chocolate sales expanded 4.2%, according to a study by the National Confectioners Association. Its research found that 61% of consumers changed their confectionery buying patterns during the pandemic, while the number of households purchasing sweets online at least twice climbed 76%. Airheads can participate in that the shift to online purchases with its latest digital campaign.