Never heard of Maltesers? Mars Chocolate North America has a marketing strategy to change that. The 80-year-old brand is well known in the UK, but not in the U.S. where the little round malted chocolates are being introduced to teens.
“We had to figure out how to bottle that success and bring it to the U.S.,” says Rebecca Duke, senior brand manager, Mars Chocolate North America.
There were three challenges: How to authentically connect with teens and understand how they want to be spoken to, leverage the existing brand love and inspire teens to get involved.
The big idea plays off several insights—the physical lightness of Maltesers, to look on the light side and not take life so seriously, and the awkward moments all teens frequently find themselves in.
The tagline “Look on the Light Side” was born and influencers were tapped to spread the message and engage teens.
“We took an audience-first strategy, followed by a content strategy to build an authentic connection. It’s hard to break through; breaking through requires a lot of work,” says Maureen Polo, senior vice president of influencer marketing at Fullscreen Media, which worked with Mars to identify influencers and create the content.
Four passion points were identified to pair with influencers and to develop content around: gaming, entertainment, music and how-to & style.
The yearlong strategy launched with a splashy 3-minute music video that delivered 2.2 million views after just two weeks and includes creator collaborations and live events to get influencers and fans together.
“We had a long list of things we were trying to achieve and we needed to educate people, but we also had to think about our brand objectives and then how does that fit in with the interests of the influencers,” Duke says. “We’re trying to drive brand meaning and association, but we don’t want them to be turned off by over-branding. We brought it to life it a way that felt right. Everything we were told is, ‘don’t over-brand.’ ”
Watch the launch video: