Challenge: While Hershey’s is still the top chocolate brand in the US, it can get lost in the shuffle of flashier chocolate brands like Dove and Godiva. Its simplicity made it popular in the first place, but that same thing can work against the classic chocolate bar - consumers take it for granted. We were tasked with making Hershey's relevant to younger consumers drawn to newer, more prominent chocolate brands.

Our research: We initially looked at the competitive landscape of other chocolates, most of whom positioned themselves as luxurious or decadent. Hershey's can't work in that space, so we focused on what unique positioning Hershey's could take. Hershey's is often considered the candy of childhood so we started there. I distributed a survey to consumers and asked them about their favorite childhood memories. The observation that Hershey's is often seen as a brand from childhood informed my questioning and line of thinking. I included questions about chocolate, times with friends and family, and any favorite memories involving Hershey's. I also asked how they would categorize Hershey's and what came to mind when thinking about it.

What we learned:

Hershey's may be top of mind regarding familiarity for consumers, but it's not top of mind when it comes to taste.

What it means: Hershey’s doesn’t suffer from lack of awareness, low sales or name recognition, but it’s seen as mass-produced and low quality. To change that perception, we’d have to emphasize what sets Hershey’s apart and makes it unique to consumers. We focused on the results of our research that proved that Hershey's still has a place in consumers' hearts.

Unlike other chocolate brands, Hershey’s is associated with some of the best memories of childhood. Additionally, Hershey’s is the only shareable candy in the space. It's made up of smaller pieces that form one bar so that you can break off a piece and split it with your best friend. The best memories are shareable - much like a Hershey’s bar. When parents buy their kids a Hershey's bar, they're not just buying them chocolate, they're inviting them to make their own memories with their friends. I envisioned Hershey’s owning this idea, and encouraging kids today to make Hershey’s part of their everyday adventures. Hershey's would be the candy bar that you'd take on a bike ride with your friends and share it when you reached your destination, whether it was the next town over or the playground at the end of the block.

What we made: My team took a multi-faceted approach to adventure with our creative executions. We created the Hershey's Crew, a diverse group of kids who went out on adventures in a comic strip that would live online and in the wrappers of Hershey's bars. The crew would show kids ways to use Hershey's when spending time together, like creating a Hershey's launcher or playing games with pieces of a Hershey's bar.

Our Hershey's Adventure Kit included puzzles, treasure maps and revamped packaging, bringing back the classic foil and including games on the chocolate bars themselves. The Hershey's Creed embodied the spirit of our campaign, serving as a manifesto and a tribute to everyday adventures.

Our TV spot, starring the voices of the Adventure Crew, captured the "triple dog dare" nature of how kids interact with each other.


Art Direction: Geoff Castillo & Josh Stolz
Brand Management: Brittany Tyler
Copywriting: Nick Robertson
Creative Technology: Andy Holdeman