For decades, a debate spicier than any pumpkin spice latte has marked the official start of fall…are you Team Candy Corn? BRACH’S leveraged the cultural insight around how this iconic treat sparks impassioned opinions in consumers to declare the beginning of spooky season in a way only America’s #1 Candy Corn brand could do.
BRACH’S charged the agency teams (Golin, Day One Agency and Mindshare) with helping BRACH’S Candy Corn stake its claim as the official symbol of Halloween just as the tri-colored treat started to hit shelves in early September while also positioning BRACH’S as a brand leader in the seasonal sugar candy category.
In addition to kicking off the start of candy corn season, the team was tasked with sustaining coverage and conversation for BRACH’S Candy Corn over the course of multiple weeks leading up to Halloween.
Use culturally relevant ways to fuel the candy corn conversation and own the official start of Halloween
Make the BRACH’S brand name synonymous with candy corn season and solidify BRACH’S as a category leader in the seasonal sugar candy space
Generate attention and consideration for BRACH’S Classic Candy Corn, a product that is not new, through earned media and influencer coverage
Sustain candy corn media and influencer coverage
Social listening uncovered candy corn fans didn’t feel empowered to publicly embrace their love of candy corn – the candy corn haters were too loud and overbearing on social media. To help solve this issue, the team wanted to create a way to unite fans via #TeamCandyCorn, so they could proudly declare their love of the iconic seasonal treat. And what better way to unite a group than create an official anthem as a rallying cry? To launch and sustain coverage, the team:
Collaborated with Candy Corn’s #1 fan, singer Michelle Williams, who in prior years had proactively expressed her love of the treat, to develop an original anthem called, “Candy Corn Love” – her first new song in over five years! The lyrics of the song pulled through BRACH’S as the candy corn brand leader, celebrated candy corn as the best seasonal treat and encouraged fans to proudly share their #TeamCandyCorn status.
Debuted the “Candy Corn Love” song on Michelle’s Instagram on September 8, officially launching candy corn season just as BRACH’S was hitting shelves nationwide. Her post encouraged fans to enter the #BrachsSweepstakes and kicked off a series of partner influencer creators to follow her lead as a candy corn champion throughout the season.
Partner influencers including @christophekeyes, @beingecomomical and @fontes_four_pack continued the sweeps all month long, giving fans a chance to score a candy corn prize pack equipped with swag, décor and a cash prize.
Coordinated a media day under embargo with Michelle where she spoke to top-tier media outlets like People, Hollywood Life and Pop Culture priming stories to hit on launch day, creating a groundswell of coverage. These feature stories captured anecdotes of Michelle raving about her authentic love of Candy Corn and drove to the Instagram sweepstakes.
Conducted widespread media outreach to build on the momentum from launch day, driving additional coverage and breaking through with new verticals, like podcasts – which are notoriously tough to crack from a brand perspective.
Supported with paid media by amplifying on Instagram through Feed, Explore and Reels placements in order to drive reach and amplify the #Cornfession conversation.
Following the campaign launch, the team shifted gears to sustain coverage and social buzz for BRACH’S leading up to Halloween, positioning Ferrara as a seasonal sugar candy category leader through various tactics.
Pitched an exclusive earned opportunity to the TODAY Show, offering a behind the scenes factory tour and access to Ferrara executives to share the compelling history of Candy Corn. Reactively “news-jacked” seasonal articles, reaching out to editors and sharing BRACH’S Candy Corn details for consideration.
Proactively pitched candy corn fun facts and spokesperson interviews about BRACH’S leadership and history throughout October for a continued steady drumbeat of online, radio and broadcast coverage.
Curated a steady drumbeat of owned social content to fuel candy corn conversation throughout the season.
Our results made BRACH’S synonymous with candy corn season and solidified our category leading position:
BRACH’S maintained dominance as the #1 Halloween non-chocolate candy brand, with 8.1% increase in Candy Corn sales vs 2021!
Generated 932M earned impressions and 207 unique earned media placements around BRACH’S, fueling the seasonal candy corn conversation.
Earned coverage volume saw a 37% increase from BRACH’S 2021 Halloween efforts and reflected 75% BRACH’S key message pull through.
Coverage tone was 97% positive, largely due to the perceived authenticity of the Michelle Williams partnership.
We surpassed our unique earned impressions KPI by 161%.
Permeated culture with a unique partnership and unexpected song that captivated consumers.
Fellow celebrities and candy corn fans engaged with Michelle’s post, creating “Candy Corn Love” remixes and reaction videos, including TV personality and viral creator, Kalen Allen. Kalen posted a cheeky IG video that garnered 570K views and 36K engagements.
As a testament to Michelle’s authentic love for the product, she engaged in playful banter on social and even tweeted at the Empire State Building to change its colors to orange, yellow and white.
Caught attention of popular pop culture podcasts, including “Who? Weekly,” with hosts spending 14+ minutes discussing the campaign on their podcast, praising the authenticity of the partnership and referring to it as “clever on many levels.”
24 radio stations across the nation sampled “Candy Corn Love.” Hosts praised Michelle’s vocal abilities and the catchiness of the unique song.
Told the BRACH’S Candy Corn and Ferrara leadership story via a four-and-a-half-minute earned feature segment on the 3rd hour of TODAY – valued between $750K-1M – the “Today All Day” streaming platform and Today.com.
Al Roker traveled to the Ferrara factory in Itasca, Illinois, interviewed two brand executives, and made candy with Ferrara’s CMO, solidifying Ferrara's brand leadership for the Halloween season. The segment put the spotlight on BRACH’S Candy Corn while featuring other Ferrara brands, including SweeTARTS and NERDS, resulting in a holistic Halloween candy feature.
Local Chicago NBC-5 news affiliate created a dedicated feature – valued over $5.6K – on Ferrara’s local roots and interviewed Al about his factory visit. This was complementary to other local Chicago interview segments the team earned, including WGN Radio.
Through paid media, we delivered over 17.9MM impressions, reaching benchmark with an Ad Recall rate of 7%.
Our owned content generated 566K impressions and a 9.6% engagement rate.
250 organic influencer posts about BRACH’S Candy Corn generated 10MM impressions and enticed 3.3K consumers to enter our sweepstakes, further driving brand advocacy.
Throughout the campaign, BRACH’S saw 13K social handle brand mentions and 5K+ uses of #TeamCandyCorn.