- The Ferrara Candy Company's Trolli brand debuted a campaign that marks its largest ever in terms of media investment, according to a news release.
- "It's Trolli" is also the candymaker's first work with agency Wieden + Kennedy and centers on animated spots that tease out the brand's motif of "delicious darkness," which manifests in everything down to its products' black packaging. Ads, like the debut video "Cupboard," will appear across TV, digital video and Trolli's social channels over the next month.
- For the campaign, Trolli and Wieden + Kennedy teamed up with London-based animation shop Blinkink and creators Becky Sloan and Joseph Pelling. Sloan and Pelling are perhaps best known for creating the viral YouTube series "Don't Hug Me I'm Scared."
Trolli is leaning into a darker sense of humor for its biggest media play to date — a risky strategy that could put off some consumers if the message doesn't connect at the gut level. On that front, Sloan and Pelling could prove to be savvy partners in helping the brand balance for the right tone.
The duo's "Don't Hug Me I'm Scared" series frequently features disturbing, surreal and even violent imagery and jokes, but has regardless proven to be a viral phenomenon. The first episode has north of 54 million views on YouTube, and a full-fledged TV show based on the property was previously in development at Turner Broadcasting's now-defunct Super Deluxe unit.
More marketers have turned to specialty content creators with cult followings to try and add authenticity to campaigns that may take a more niche or weird turn. Last year, the direct-to-consumer mattress maker Purple produced a bizarre six-part digital video series with anti-comedy duo Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, veterans of Adult Swim who are in many ways progenitors of more digitally focused humor channels like Super Deluxe.
While the scale of the latest campaign is significant for Trolli, the oddball messaging falls in line with other recent efforts from the inventor of the gummy worm. To honor James Harden being named the NBA's MVP in 2018, the company created sneakers inspired by the basketball star's signature model with Adidas. The Sour Brite James Harden Sneaks, weighing six pounds, were made entirely out of candy and sold online for $2,677, representing the number of points Harden scored in the term leading up to his MVP win.
Sales of non-chocolate candies, like the gummy candies Trolli produces, are forecast to reach $12.42 billion in sales by 2023, according to Packaged Facts data reported in Candy Industry Magazine. The category will experience a CAGR of 2.6% over the next five years, the group found.