Chupa Chups – a candy and very much an impulse product to its youth consumers – need to weave itself into its audience’s life on a daily basis. But appealling to millennials – an audience who see technology, brands and media as enablers of creativity and self-expression, means that credibility needs to earned, and not simply by buying their attention through a major campaign.
Chupa Chups knows that it is impossible to take things seriously when you have a lollipop sticking out of your mouth, so has built its brand strategy around making life less serious.
With this in mind, it seemed a no-brainer to get involved in the most unserious day of the year – April Fool’s Day.
But April Fool’s Day is also one of the most crowded days in the marketing calendar with brands the world over fighting to stake their claim on the day, so it needed to do something that would not only prank its fans but distinguish Chupa Chups as the most unserious of them all.
• To create fame on the most unserious day on the calendar - April Fool’s Day
• To boost engagement around the Chupa Chups brand
Millennials (or the internet generation) have become extremely cynical towards brand efforts in social media. Brands have invaded their perceived ‘personal space’ and where they were once somewhat conversational and interesting on social media, the simple mass of brands in the space means that the quality has declined and Millennials no longer have time for branded content that lacks credibility.
So while the brand's competitors rely on expensive apps and ‘social sharing’ (that is really just spamming), Chupa Chups builds its credibility and a committed fanbase by creating great content that taps into topical events and occasions and gives them a less serious twist, which millennials can identify with and earn social currency for themselves by sharing at will, not because of a competition mechanic.
The key to a great April Fool’s Day prank is that it must seem plausible, and that the reveal must have a positive pay-off for the audience.
To achieve this, it kept the initial launch assets simple, and had to have a comprehensive engagement strategy that would create intrigue but not annoy the cynical millennial audience when it took responsibility for the prank.
Purpose: to create intrigue in and spur discussion around the video assets.
How: by launching to the most discerning audience in social media – the Reddit community – and using its inherent social currency to help grow visibility of the campaign.
Purpose: get as many people in the audience aware of the prank.
How: By fostering the intrigue and discussion around the campaign across Chupa Chups’ owned channels.
Purpose: ensure people know Chupa Chups is responsible for making suckers of the internet and create positive sentiment towards the brand.
How: by creating a tongue-in-cheek response to the coverage received and parody the condescending nature of brands on social media.
The April Fool’s Day activity for Chupa Chups included a prank that put the Chupa Chups at the heart. It played on the adage that seeing is believing, and created a video which made people question the realm of possibilities with Chupa Chups. The video features a Chinese uncle working as a street artist in a popular tourist haunt, who has a unique skill - he can sculpt portraits in Chupa Chups, using nothing but his mouth. The video was filmed using nothing more than a camera phone, creating the effect that it was a tourist video.
The video was seeded on Reddit and quickly spurred a lot of discussion of whether or not the video was for real, with websites and even news outlets from around the world adding their 2-cents worth to the discussion in the form of investigative journalism stories, while pop culture sites like 9Gag created memes of the video.
To reveal to the world that Chupa Chups were behind the prank, the agency created a spoof video similar to that of the news outlets’ investigative journalism attempts, where it ‘uncovered’ the uncle responsible for the sculptures. To amplify the popularity of the videos it also created additional assets such as a soundbite of the infamous “woohoohoohoohoo” laugh, which people could remix and share on Soundcloud.
The campaign surpassed all expectations. With a production budget of S$3,400 and media budget of $1,000 the campaign garnered the following results according to the campaign objectives:
To create fame on the most unserious day on the calendar - April Fool’s Day:
2.6 million aggregate views across the two videos
The launch video was listed as a YouTube ‘popular video’ and YouTube ‘trending video’ across the weeklong campaign period.
The videos had views from 202 countries
There were over 75 articles written about the campaign in publications including: The Huffington Post, PSFK, Yahoo News, Stomp, The Straits Times, MSN, The Daily Mail.
To boost engagement around the Chupa Chups brand:
Over 2000 ‘up votes’ on Reddit and over 200 comments discussing the videos
Over 5,500 ‘like’ votes on YouTube and over 670 comments on the launch video
4x higher engagement on the Chupa Chups Singapore Facebook page during the campaign period than average weekly engagement rates
Ultimately, it shows that you don’t need to invest heavy budgets towards a social campaign if you have an idea that is rooted in an understanding of audience behaviours on social channels.