Analysis of Advertising Strategies of Candy Brands

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Skittles - Advertising Strategies

Skittles has utilized many advertising strategies to their advantage, including some unconventional strategies. As a result, they have experienced increased sales, recognition, and social media followings.


Target Audience:
  • Skittles seems to bring in a variety of people from different ages, demographics, social classes, backgrounds, etc. They especially appeal to young children and teenagers with their humorous advertisements.




  • In June 2017, Skittles came out with white colored candy in honor of the Gay Rights Movement. Although it sparked some criticism, it brought in plenty of support from the LGBTQ+ community and all the proceeds went to charity, according to TIME Magazine.
  • In February 2019, Skittles decided to step outside their normal Super Bowl advertisements and create a nearly 40-minute Broadway musical advertisement, according to Kantar Media. This unique tactic caught the interest of theater lovers and quickly spread word about their candy.
  • In 2018, Skittles releases a campaign stating that they would show their Super Bowl ad to one lucky super-fan. Super Bowl watchers then watched on Facebook Live as the super-fan, Marcos Menendez, reacted to the commercial; this resulted in five billion impressions and a 7% increase in sales, according to the Digital Marketing Community website.


Brand Success Metrics:

Influence of Advertising:
  • Skittles has won nearly 40 awards just from their one-day Broadway advertisement, according to LinkedIn.

Research Strategy:

To come up with the answer for this request, we had to first research simple information about Skittles: their target audience and the message they're trying to convey through their commercials. Since there was no statistical data to go on, we researched specific articles that discussed who is a part of the audience and what their wording conveys to them.
Next, we researched the interesting ways that Skittles has advertised its product, through professional reviews of the campaigns and how they affected the U.S. market.
Finally, we researched certain awards that Skittles was nominated for due to their stellar advertisement skills. Since Skittles has been nominated for many awards, we had to condense it down to some of the most relevant and recent awards. Skittles' success, especially on social media, has resulted in many improvements within the company, such as increases in revenue and more.
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Sour Patch Kids - Advertising Strategies

Sour Patch Kids primarily targets teenagers and millennials through social media, live events, television, and content. Below are our deep findings.




  • The brand's focus message or positioning is "sour, then sweet" to describe their candies sour then sensationally sweet taste. According to Mondelez International, the manufacturer of the candy line (Sour Patch Kids), "Sour Then Sweet' is our personality; it's our playful and lovable, but a little mischievous characters that we bring to life in new ways."


  • In a unique approach to cover more market, Sour Patch Kids started an innovative idea that saw them brand two apartments, one in Brooklyn, NY and another in Austin, TX, and furnished them to act as a free crash pad for artists performing in the area. This allows the brand to position itself in the music world and create credibility and brand awareness.

Is the brand experiencing COMMERCIAL SUCCESS? AND is their advertising perceived or known to have influenced that commercial success

  • Yes!
  • Sour Patch Kids did not just want their candy brand to be loved by millions of teenagers and millennials in the United States, but also to make it famous. Therefore, their marketing tactics included increasing their social media presence, developing custom new video contents, and making an entrance into the music industry.

Research Strategy:

critical reviews of the advertising strategies and commercial results for the US market ONLY

We started by combing through industry-specific; for example, Candy Critic, Mountain Times, and more, and customer-centric (Amazon Customer Reviews) review databases for any critical reviews concerning the advertising strategies and commercial results for Sour Patch Kids distinct to the US market. Although the databases presented some reviews, they were unrelated and reflected the critics' views about the products rather than the advertising approach or commercial results. Here's one customer's criticism, "The Sour Patch Kids I bought recently are larger, softer and taste differently than the ones I ordered in the past. They are not sour, and the bags are missing the loose sour powder. They taste like a cheap knock-off of the Sour Patch Kids ..."

Registering that the information is unavailable through either the customer or industry review sites, we moved to Sour Patch Kids' official website to trail any public opinions the brand keeps regarding any external criticism about its advertising strategy. Unfortunately, the site design only allows users to view the company's products and locations. Therefore, this approach also proved futile.

As a last resort, we examined credible news sites that have published articles around the brands advertising strategies and commercial success to determine if we could locate any fault-finder remark about either. Our search included examining Crain's Chicago Business, Adweek, Business Insider, and more. We came across different promotional and campaign initiatives by the brand, but nothing specific to criticism around them.

Based on extensive research, we speculate that there are no critical reviews concerning the advertising strategies and commercial results for Sour Patch Kids.
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Haribo Gummy Bears - Advertising Strategies

Haribo’s TV ad campaign in the United States is aimed to target a broad demographic from kids to grown-ups and resulted in a 31% growth in the company.

Haribo Gummy Bears - Advertising Strategies

Target, message focus, and media used

  • Haribo’s advertisements reinforce itself as a family brand that is suitable for everyone.
  • Haribo’s TV ad campaign in the US targets a broad demographic from kids to grown-ups.
  • Haribo Gummy Bears uses its famous slogan, "Kids and grown-ups love it so" on all TV advertising.
  • In recent years, Haribo has produced commercials that depict children in charge of Haribo offices and factories.
  • According to Quiet Storm, the creator of Haribo ads in the United States, the ads capture the childlike enthusiasm that both young and old people feel for the brand.
  • According to Quiet Storm, Haribo’s TV ads focus on one message: “Haribo brings out the child inside”.
  • The Haribo office ad started running during the Academy Awards telecast on ABC in 2017.


  • Quiet Storm achieved the child-like feeling by recording young children talking naturally and spontaneously about Haribo.
  • Later, the agency created a 30-second narrative with adults lip syncing to the kids’ recording.
  • Using this method, Quiet Storm was able to create an antidote to boring and serious adult situations.

Commercial success and perception

Consumer Reviews

Research Strategy

We started our research by directly searching for information on the advertisement run by Haribo Gummy Bears in the US. We came across the company’s official website that featured the above advertisement and verified that it is still active on On this site we found positive reviews, but no critical reviews could be found through

In attempt to find critical reviews, we searched for additional information on the ad campaign through various advertising and case study databases including but not limited to Creative Brief and AdAge. These sources provided the requested information such as ad target, message, media used, innovation, and commercial success. Although the case study provided information on the success of the TV ad campaign, none of the case studies provided any critical reviews for the ad campaign in the US.
As a last resort, we looked for any news articles, press releases, or media publications that would include any critical reviews published by commentators. We came across an article on Brand Channel that provided the commentary of Haribo USA VP Keith Danoff. However, since the commentary was provided by a spokesperson of the company itself, it could not be considered as industry commentary. In addition, none of the articles published on leading media outlets including but not limited to Forbes, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Business Insider, Fortune, and Bloomberg featured any commentary by critical thinkers.
Thereby, after exhausting the above mentioned strategies, we have concluded that no information is available on any industry review or commentary by critical thinkers on the topic.
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Starburst - Advertising Strategies

In 2018, Starburst re-launched its All Pink packs of candy, with a merchandise line featuring the "I am a pink Starburst" meme. Starburst uses TV ads for advertising, as well as print ads, app integration, and social initiatives as advertising channels.

Target audience

  • According to Numerator's consumer insights, the demographics who shop for Starburst the most are aged between 35 and 44, followed by 25-34 and 45-54.
  • By ethnicity, African-Americans shop Starburst the most, followed by Hispanics and Caucasians.
  • According to income, those who shop for Starburst the most, have income less than $20,000 followed by those who have income over $125,000.
  • Those who have kids are far ahead as Starburst shoppers compared to those who do not have kids implying kids as a major consumer segment for Starburst.
  • According to Marketing Dive, Erin Robertson's presence in Starburst's latest ad-campaign was meant to attract a target audience consisting of Millennial and Gen Z women.

The Message Focus

  • As published in Snack History, Starburst wants to position itself "as being made with real fruit juice".
  • Also, in the process, Starburst wants to differentiate itself from some of the more “loved yet typical” chocolate bars, with its soft taffy-like nature.
  • In a 2016 advertising of Starburst done by DDB Chicago, a 15-second video featuring MC Hammer was made to address this notion of "What makes Starburst so juicy".
  • Also, from a 2018 incident relating to YouTube ads for Starburst which was shown together with a drill rap video, it was found that the company did not want to associate itself with any messaging that was "violent, dark or nihilistic" in content.

Channels Used

  • Starburst uses TV as a major channel for its advertising as alone contained 12 nationally aired TV ad campaigns for Starburst. As per the database, "in past 30 days, Starburst has had 1,177 airings and earned an airing rank of #834 with a spend ranking of #854 as compared to all other advertisers".
  • In relation to the MC Hammer video as mentioned before, Starburst used print ads, app integration, and social initiatives as advertising channels too.
  • Among digital media platforms, Starburst used YouTube as a channel.
  • Starburst also used Facebook as a major channel as it had 10,149,150 followers on the platform.
  • Although not as popular as in Facebook, Starburst had a follower volume of 197,000 on Twitter.

Innovative advertising

  • In terms of innovative advertising, Starburst re-launched its All Pink packs of candy, with a new merchandise line featuring the "I am a pink Starburst" meme.
  • For this ad-campaign, Starburst also collaborated with designer Erin Robertson, winner of season 15 of "Project Runway", for its trendy merchandise items.
  • The merchandise launched by Starburst under this campaign included neon signs, T-shirts, and pink denim jackets among others.
  • According to the report published in Marketing Dive, Starburst's latest creation of limited-edition merchandise was aimed at creating a broader trend that marketers were embracing to build awareness, heighten social media chatter and test younger consumers' response to e-commerce offerings other than the brand's main offering relating to food and packaged goods.

Commercial success and consumer perception

  • According to Statista, the Starburst brand had experienced a sales of $162.1 million in 2017, third among the leading non-chocolate chewy candy brands of the US.
  • In 2018, the sales increased to $259.2 million.
  • As far as the perceived role of advertising causing a sales upsurge is concerned, it was noted that Starburst's "pink has developed a devout following online".
  • Social media memes relating to Starburst pink like "I am a pink Starburst" that urged people to "never let anyone treat you like a yellow Starburst" was also popular.
  • Therefore, the innovative advertising campaign with the re-launch of Starburst's All Pink packs of candy can be reasonably perceived to have a role in influencing the commercial success of the brand.

From Part 01
  • "General Market and Specific Target Markets Psychographics of Target Market Lifestyle: Any Social Class: Lower/Middle/Upper Opinion: Easily led Activities: Social Media Attitudes & Beliefs: Exciting, Fun Loving and Sense of Humor Gender- All Age- Mainly children/teenagers Income Level- Any Marital Status- Any Education- Any Race- Any Religion- Any except Jewish (skittles are not kosher)"
  • "Pro-tip: watching Skittles disappear isn’t sad when I’m the one making them disappear."
  • "It’s why brands like Coca-Cola and Skittles have used slogans like “Open Happiness” or “Taste the Rainbow.” In the old world of marketing, it wasn’t possible to go narrow. You only had a few pieces of content that millions of people would see – so your slogan had to be vanilla."
  • "The Skittles are white this month because, as the message on the back of the limited-edition new bag puts it, “During Pride, only one rainbow matters. So we’ve given up ours to show support.”"
  • "If Skittles’ desired target was affluent theater goers with an appreciation for the absurd, then the answer was decidedly yes."
  • "As a result, the social campaign achieved five billion earned impressions and resulted in a 7% sales lift for Skittles over the course of five weeks."
  • "Skittles created an epic, full-fledged Super Bowl ad, then showed the ad to only one person — a California teenager named Marcos Menendez. The brand doubled down on the pregame news cycle with appropriately absurd content and relentless media relations. The campaign was a touchdown. Original Skittles sales rose 7% during its five-week run."
  • "Skittles dominates the share of reach for candy brands on Twitter. Boom!"
  • "It would have been easy to follow the same blueprint — produce a commercial and support it with a public relations campaign — for the 2018 Super Bowl, but this year we decided to take an even more innovative approach. We still wanted to be part of the Super Bowl action — but how? Little did I know the answer to that question would lead to one of the award-winningest campaigns in our brand’s history!"
From Part 03
  • "HARIBO is synonymous with its famous slogan "Kids and grown-ups love it so". This slogan is used on all TV advertising."
  • "All of our advertising reinforces HARIBO® as a family brand, suitable for everyone."
  • "In recent years HARIBO® has become well known for its commercials where kids are in charge of HARIBO offices and factories."
  • "A group of business executives gathers around a meeting table to discuss the things they love about Haribo Gold-Bears. They all release their inner children by focusing on things like the squishiness of the gummy bears and which flavors are "more gooder.""
  • "Our work for Haribo has always been highly impactful and engaging, capturing the childlike enthusiasm both young and old feel for the brand. "
  • "But with our most recent campaign, this has reached new heights as brand truth, audience insight and creative execution converge on one thought, powerful in its simplicity: Haribo brings out the child inside."
  • "We brought this to life by first recording young children talking naturally and spontaneously about Haribo. This was then edited into a 30” narrative, with adults lip syncing their love of the brand – a true expression of Haribo bringing out the child inside, and acting as an antidote to boring, serious adult situations. "
  • "It’s in the top 1% of ads researched using Millward Brown’s Link Test, was awarded 'Best in Category' in The Grocer's end of year review, and was the UK’s most impactful food and drink advertising for two years running according to Nielsen."
  • "It’s been so successful in fact, that Kid’s Voices has now become the brand’s first global campaign, live in 11 different markets, including Haribo’s biggest market, Germany. With the US campaign contributing to +31% growth."
  • "Our Haribo Rockstar was named the 2nd best loved campaign of 2018 and overall, we’ve helped grow their branded share to over 40%."
  • "The ad, which will run during the Academy Awards telecast on ABC, shows adults talking in kids’ voices in a formal boardroom environment about their love of Haribo’s Gold-Bears, which is the brand’s core product in the US."
  • "The “Kids’ Voices” campaign is all about capturing the childlike enthusiasm grown-ups, as well as the young, feel for the brand."
  • "This ad cleverly accomplishes that with adults speaking in the voices of children while sharing Haribo in a formal boardroom environment. It has standout simplicity and perfectly communicates our brand positioning"
  • "As in the UK, with this ad we are targeting a broad demographic to communicate that Haribo brings out the childlike enthusiasm in us all."
  • "Agency Quiet Storm and director Mary Sue Masson have created the new U.S. work specifically for an American audience, with American-accented kids."
  • "Like the first U.K. spot, it features a boardroom situation, in which sharply suited adults discuss Haribo candies with words like "The red ones are more gooder." Quiet Storm used American children from a casting session in Chicago to create and produce the spot."
  • "The campaign breaks on Feb. 20, promoting the brand's core U.S. product, Haribo Gold-Bears, with 30- and 15-second spots to be broadcast across TV and cable networks."
  • "The Kids' Voices campaign in the U.K. has been one of our most successful to date, so it makes sense to roll it out across the US. It has a standout simplicity and perfectly communicates our brand positioning."
From Part 04
  • "Starburst is advertised as being made with real fruit juice, and the fruity chewy snack has become popular in several countries. The soft taffy-like nature of Starburst helps differentiate the candy from some of the more “loved yet typical” chocolate bars that tend to dominate the candy sections and kitchens."
  • "Mars has pulled the plug on YouTube advertising after one of the ads for its Starburst brand was shown together with a drill rap music video by Moscow17, a drill rap music group, multiple media reported. Drill is a genre of music which tends to be known for its violent, dark or nihilistic lyrical content."
  • "Sign up to track 12 nationally aired TV ad campaigns for Starburst. In the past 30 days, Starburst has had 1,177 airings and earned an airing rank of #834 with a spend ranking of #854 as compared to all other advertisers. Competition for Starburst includes M&M's, Jolly Rancher, Airheads, Skittles, Ice Breakers and the other brands in the Food & Beverage: Candy & Gum industry. You can connect with Starburst on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube."
  • "Mars brand Starburst is re-launching its All Pink packs of candy, this time with a merchandise line featuring the "I am a pink Starburst" meme, a news release announced. "
  • "Starburst collaborated with designer Erin Robertson, winner of season 15 of "Project Runway," on the trendy items, which include T-shirts, pink denim jackets, neon signs and more. The merchandise is available online with items starting at $20 and going as high as $650. "
  • "The candy brand is bringing back its All Pink packs featuring only the pink candies for the second year in a row. The packs will be available for a limited time at stores nationwide. "
  • "Starburst is trying to wring the most out of a social media meme, "I am a pink Starburst," that urges people to "never let anyone treat you like a yellow Starburst" — apparently a less favored flavor by fans, whereas pink has developed a devout following online. Memes are, by their definition, popular with consumers, but brands trying to get in on the joke, even when they're directly associated with it, can diminish some of the appeal. "
  • "While Starburst also released all-pink packs last year, the creation of limited-edition merchandise this year fits into a broader trend that marketers are embracing to build awareness, heighten social media chatter and test younger consumers' response to e-commerce offerings outside of the standard wheelhouse of food and packaged goods."
  • "Robertson's presence lends the collaboration some fashion credentials that could appeal to millennial and Gen Z women — likely a target audience for the campaign. The high price point of the some of the items, including a $140 denim jacket, might be off-putting for notoriously deal-seeking younger consumers, however."
  • "Private-label non-chocolate chewy candy took the second spot with sales just missing $275 million. Starburst followed with $259.2 million in sales, occupying a 7 percent market share."
  • "Combining sweet and spicy flavor profiles has been “hot” across all categories, but chewy textures are an ideal platform for the combination. Litow said feedback on Mars Wrigley’s 2017 introductions of Skittles Sweet Heat and Starburst Sweet Heat has been positive."