Chupa Chups USA, the Barcelona headquartered company’s flagship brand, wished to launch in the United States. Chupa Chups Lollipops were the number one brand in 26 countries. They had not been able to solidify a presence here because of the exorbitant retail distribution and television advertising costs. The family owned business had never experienced trade marketing at the level demanded in America. And, the costs for television advertising were multiples greater than they had ever spent in other countries. They had historically been able to build the brand organically which would ultimately command a presence at retail.
Towards that end, we targeted teens and young adults launching the brand with a provocative :30 ad virally on the internet, entitled, “Vet” with the tagline “Oral Pleasure”. It quickly caught fire on line and had broad appeal. We also launched a sampling campaign called “Flavor of the Month” among trendsetters and tastemakers. Each month, a specially designed box of 30 lollipops was sent to a list of 300 celebrity stylists, support staff, and influencers. Each month we changed the list, making the trendsetters believe they had been dropped from the list because they had lost their cool factor. We instantly created demand for the brand among this group. We then planted “rumors” online about specific flavors, (i.e. Raspberry is an aphrodisiac, Orange makes your hair grow, etc.). When we started to get calls to validate the rumors, we knew we had captured an audience. We also placed the brand in touring music celebrities, earning millions of dollars of free promotions when they would take the product to publicity appearances.
Brand sales began to soar but unfortunately, the family sold the business to Mars for retirement. Family-minded Mars killed the “oral pleasure” strategy and decided not to proceed with the launch.
If you ever go abroad, be sure to look for Chupa Chups. It’s the best tasting lollipop you will ever have