- Sweetarts is rolling out one of its biggest marketing plays in years with a new integrated advertising campaign targeted at Gen Z, according to a company news release.
- Created with the Ferrara Candy Company brand's new creative agency Duncan Channon, the colorful, animated "Be Both" was inspired by Pew Research data showing that Gen Z is the most diverse generation to date and rejects one-dimensional depictions of their identities. The creative spotlights how both consumers — like a shy partygoer or a methodical scientist — and the Sweetarts portfolio itself are more multifaceted than people might expect, with the latter extending beyond the original sweet and tart candies that the brand first sold in 1963.
- Sweetarts is promoting the modernization effort through four 15-second TV spots that will run nationally on Gen Z-favored networks, like E!, Comedy Central, MTV and Vice. Creative will also be pushed on the streaming service Hulu and social media channels. Additional digital elements include two six-second ads debuting later this month and influencer marketing.
A candy brand trying to court younger consumers is nothing new, but Sweetarts is leaning into widely held perceptions about the Gen Z cohort, such as their favoring of diversity-minded marketing, to create a more tailored approach to "Be Both." The ads themselves make vague nods to the types of political causes more brands are embracing — with phrases like "Fight for Change" and "Pro this/anti that" flashing on the screen — while eschewing potentially controversial topics around diversity to instead focus on a positive message.
"We see tremendous opportunity for SweeTARTS to connect with young adults who expect modern brands to understand and reflect their identities," Annie Meyer, marketing director at Ferrara Candy Company, said in a statement.
The demand for brands to better reflect the more complex identities of Gen Z and other young consumer segments in their advertising has become oft-repeated across the industry, especially as the broader pressure for more purposeful marketing grows. For candy companies, in particular, the need to win over the next generation of customers could be greater since sales in the segment have slid in recent years.
Candy is frequently categorized as an impulse purchase made in brick-and-mortar stores, but that strategy has been pinched by the skyrocketing growth for online grocery retail, as reported by Ad Age. Health concerns in regards to sugary treats have also become more apparent in an era when many young consumers and millennial parents are opting for natural, organic offerings.
"Be Both" marks the second major campaign launched by a Ferrara brand this month that plays into colorful, animated creative to increase consumer appeal. Earlier in April, the company's Trolli gummies brand launched its largest advertising effort to date and its first campaign with creative agency partner Wieden Kennedy. The darkly humorous ads also got an assist from the London-based animation shop Blinkink and content creators Becky Sloan and Joseph Pelling, who have developed a cult following for their surreal YouTube videos.