- Confectioner Ferrero this month launched a multichannel campaign for its Crunch candy bar that pokes fun at lofty product claims typically seen in other advertising. In TV commercials and digital content, the brand touts the benefits of "Crunching," a fictitious lifestyle trend, according to a company announcement.
- One of the spots features a coach named "Chris P. Rice" who explains how "Crunching" improves everyday life, such as for a softball batter who reacts positively to striking out. Another spot shows a rock climber explaining how "Crunching" helped him overcome his fear of heights, before the camera pulls back to show he's scaling a small boulder in a park. Each spot asks viewers to call its 1-844-WHATISIT toll-free number to hear more information about the "Crunching" trend.
- Crunch enlisted social influencers to participate in and expand the "Crunching" campaign, which next month will offer a way to get a starter kit that includes branded merchandise and an instruction manual with tips on becoming a "Crunching" lifestyle expert.
Ferrero aims to reach as broad an audience as possible with the multichannel campaign that includes TV commercials, digital activations and influencer partnerships that are more likely to reach younger consumers as the holiday season ramps up. Winter holidays are the second-biggest occasion for retail sales of chocolate after Easter, making the "Crunching" campaign a significant opportunity for the confectioner. Ferrero seeks to raise awareness among shoppers, whether they watch linear TV or spend more time on digital and social platforms.
The "Crunching" campaign also is notable for its humorous tone, mocking direct response ads that tout product benefits and urge viewers to call a toll-free number hosted by the brand. The effort is another sign of how brands are injecting a sense of levity into their advertising after taking a more serious tone during the pandemic's early days. With the holidays approaching, advertising is shifting back to familiar themes that seek to entertain consumers as much as inform them.
Other marketers have taken a similar tack in their campaigns as the public mood becomes more festive and people tire of ads with phrases like "in these uncertain times." Among the recent examples, Philadelphia Cream Cheese last week launched a holiday-themed campaign to tease a mock gaming console that parodies advertisements from consumer electronics companies. As many people prepare to make Thanksgiving meals for the first time while self-isolating during the pandemic, soft drink brand Pepsi asked people to share photos and videos of their "baking fails" for a chance at winning a bottle of its new apple pie-flavored soda.
The "Crunching" campaign is the latest sign that Ferrero is putting its imprint on Crunch, which the company bought as part of the $2.8 billion acquisition of Nestlé's U.S. confectionery business in 2018. Ferrero has run campaigns for other candy bars like Butterfinger, including its "31 Days of Halloween" on Pinterest, within recent efforts to generate interest in former Nestlé brands. Before that, Ferrero created a campaign for Butterfinger that centered on the supposed phenomenon of candy thievery, consistent with its "no one lays a finger on my Butterfinger" campaigns of the past.