Bubbaloo has been the preferred chewing gum for tweens in Mexico for decades. But the brand faced a new challenge when it suffered a 100% price increase. Tweens love the brand, but they were not used to paying that much for it. In fact, volume dropped 60% after this price increase. Clearly, it needed to do something to make them consider purchasing Bubbaloo. Working with Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG), Bubbaloo decided to focus on reinforcing their connection with the brand.
This category is cluttered with brands offering functional benefits… whiter teeth, low sugar, nice breath… all interesting features, but only if you’re a grown up! Talking about these attributes is not a natural part of tween conversation… it’s actually really boring for tweens. Bubbaloo became the only brand to appeal to tweens’ spirit, engaging with them by communicating the brand’s essence, the fundamental reason you fall in love with chewing any gum (but especially Bubbaloo, which offers special sensorial benefits tweens love – like a strongly flavoured, deliciously syrupy, liquid core and a formula designed to allow you to blow huge bubbles) in the first place… because it’s fun!
For tweens, gum is not food, it’s almost a toy. It’s colourful, it’s tasty, it’s sticky, and you can have a lot of fun with it. Gum provides a great way to interact with peers, and can be a vehicle for expression too. Tweens use it in many ways and for various reasons, always managing to have fun with it.
The fun territory was totally open and SMG knew it could develop good creative messaging around this area, but the opportunity was to go further, to actually create fun, and make Bubbaloo an important fun enabler.
SMG reviewed all the different fun possibilities that gum can deliver, and chose what it felt was the ultimate gum ritual, making bubbles. Making a really big bubble is a moment of fun and, at the same time a moment of pride. It’s something tweens learn by connecting with someone else; and once they’re into it, they start trying to be the best, to make the biggest bubble ever. It enables conversation, because it’s a good moment to spend with friends, and is an activity that creates memories and brings tweens together. In a way, making bubbles is something that defines them; the same way their outfits, slang or music tell others who they are. It’s very much a “tween thing”. Anyone can make gum bubbles, but somehow they always look way cooler when done by a tween.
That’s why SMG created the Bubbaloo Bubble Tournament – a dynamic and interactive event that enabled tweens to share the fun of making bubbles, and propelled sales by celebrating an emotional ritual involving the gum itself. Endorsed by THEIR celebrities and developed in THEIR media, which means digital at the centre, it sparked conversation and content creation through leveraging vloggers, tweet stars and vine stars.
The first move for the Bubbaloo Bubble Tournament was to inspire tweens by reminding them of the fun of making bubbles and the playfulness of gum. The agency contacted digital ambassadors (famous vloggers, tweet stars and vine stars), gave them each a big box full of Bubbaloo and prompted them to unleash their creativity by playing with the gum and making big bubbles while inviting tweens to participate in the tournament.
The Bubbaloo Bubble Tournament was created and hosted entirely in the digital space, so tweens were able to submit their best bubbles through their favourite social networks, anytime, wherever they were, spread the fun and have the chance to win a tablet every day. Being digital allowed the agency to expand the dimensions and life span of the tournament, and, most importantly, made Bubbaloo part of their community by connecting with tweens in their natural, digital, media environments.
To create even more tournament buzz, it made an onsite support tournament for Bubbaloo´s digital ambassadors, who competed among themselves to blow the biggest bubble. This was judged by Yuya (a Mexican tween vlogger ranked among YouTube’s top 50 worldwide subscriptions leaders) and provided a great boost to the tournament, while attracting tweens to play with the gum and bubbles.
SMG then flipped the normal “traditional media at the centre, extended by digital” model on its head, instead using digital as the core and distributing the digital content tweens and the brand had created via relevant “traditional” touchpoints including pay TV, cinema and OOH.
The Bubbaloo Bubble Tournament was a massive success. It became an enabler for tweens to share fun in unique ways and through a cool ritual now owned by Bubbaloo. The tournament got 11,500 registered users and 245,235 bubbles were made (which means that lots and lots of Bubbaloos were enjoyed by tweens!).
Tweens shared Bubbaloo’s fun via 6,300 consumer generated tweets and even created their own “know how” content, sharing tips to get bigger bubbles through Facebook. Despite a very low budget, Bubbaloo Bubble Tournament got 3,360,680 views; and the vloggers and vine stars got an additional 2,798,310 views through their own digital channels. All campaign’s KPIs exceeded objective. DSD metrics were outstanding. In May, volume was up +26% vs. YA, and in June +11% vs. YA. Bubbaloo was the only gum that really connected with tweens.
The Bubbaloo Bubble Tournament allowed the brand to engage deeper with tweens by connecting with them through fun and redefining a valuable, much loved, but almost forgotten gum enjoyment ritual – that of blowing really big bubbles. By being bold, the brand was able to reverse the declining, price driven volume trend and create a whole new brand role.