- Twenty-nine percent of U.S. consumers age 18 and older say they have seen an ad for Hershey brand Reese’s over the past two weeks, compared to 20% who said the same a year ago, on October 8, 2017, and the brand’s ad awareness peak of 28% in early November last year, according to an analysis by YouGov Plan & Track of the brand's ongoing #NotSorry campaign. Hershey has an ad awareness score of 24%, compared to 20% last year.
- Conversations around Reese’s are also up this Halloween season, with 17% of consumers saying they had mentioned the brand in conversation over the past two weeks. Last year, 14% of consumers said the same.
- Thirty-seven percent of consumers said they would be open to purchasing Reese’s during their next shopping trip, compared to 33% last year. The higher number of people seeing ads and talking about the brand is contributing to the rise in purchase consideration.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are an iconic Halloween treat, often ranked No. 1 on best-Halloween-candy lists, a fact the brand appears to be successfully capitalizing on this year. For marketers, the results show how a well-coordinated multi-channel campaign that is entertaining and contextually relevant can drive conversation, awareness and purchase intent.
The boost measured by YouGov is linked to Reese’s latest incarnation of the #NotSorry marketing campaign, which launched in June, with the 29% in ad awareness representing a 10-point increase since June 1, according to MediaPost citing YouGov. Reese’s has released several TV commercials over the past few months, with Halloween-themed spots debuting recently. The campaign, which includes a sweepstakes, also appears on social media with posts themed around current events, like football. A landing page features videos and recipes. The original incarnation of Reese's #NotSorry was a response to the campaign “Sorry, I Was Eating a Milky Way” launched by competitor Mars in 2012.
The Halloween season is a highly competitive time for candy brands, as they attempt to lure consumers and drive sales ahead of trick-or-treating. Mars brand M&M’s recently debuted its first Halloween campaign in 11 years to run across TV, digital and print. Halloween spending is expected to reach $9 billion this year, according to the National Retail Federation, representing the second-highest spend in the report’s 14-year history. Among Halloween shoppers, 95% are planning to purchase candy, spending $2.6 billion.
Hershey’s has been working to enhance its digital strategies to better target younger demographics, including integrating ecommerce and in-store personalized experiences. The company recently ranked No. 3 in Engagement Labs’ TotalSocial ranking of how food brands are doing in offline and online conversations, which is in line with Reese’s ability to drive conversations around the brand.