In order to bring modern advertising efforts to the Philippines, The Hershey Co. created Hershey's Happygrams, a digital campaign which featured virtual Hershey's chocolate bars inscribed with cheerful messages. The goal of the campaign was to strengthen customer affinity for the brand and increase in-store purchases. Hersey's Happygrams performed beyond all expectations, exceeding benchmarks in conversion, engagement, and brand equity.
Objective and Context:
In the past, Hershey's relied mainly on traditional TV advertising and in-store promotions in the Philippines, with no investment in digital or social marketing. But with the increasing cost of traditional media and steadily declining TV viewership, Hershey's needed another way to raise brand awareness and consumer engagement.
The campaign's first objective was to establish the Hershey's brand online and effectively create ongoing engagement with the online audience. In addition, Hershey's wanted to position itself as a cheerleader, bringing positive and inspirational messages to its audience. The second objective was to increase the past-four-week (P4W) purchase of Hershey's Milk Chocolate by 1 percent.
The target audience was female students and professionals, 18 to 35 years old, who lived in the metro areas of the Philippines and had a high usage of mobile technology.
Using Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, Hershey's identified four target categories where its audience could use positive messages: health and beauty, family and relationships, work and school, and everyday ups and downs.
Then, Hershey's developed a real-time social media campaign aimed at making everyday moments better. The result was Hershey's Happygrams: virtual Hershey's chocolate bars that contained messages of cheer and positivity.
Overall Campaign Execution:
Visitors to the campaign microsite (www.HersheysHappygrams.com) could create their own Happygrams, share with friends, and enter to win the Happygrams contest. Hershey's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts featured the Happygrams campaign to promote continued engagement with the brand. The total campaign budget of US$250,000 included a small media buy on Facebook for sponsored ads and posts to aid the campaign reach.
The campaign's digital focus ensured the "right message, right place, right time" formula, raising the contextual relevance of each message and driving record-breaking engagements. The campaign microsite was optimized for touch interaction and responsive for different screen sizes. The made-for-mobile UX of the campaign microsite also contributed to the high conversion rate of users creating their own Happygrams.
From May to September 2015, the campaign achieved the following conversion and engagement rates, all above benchmark data:
The Hershey's Happygrams campaign sent 4,115 unique real-time Happygram messages, driving a total of 92,217,781 impressions with 8,019,860 active engagements (likes, shares, and comments), exceeding benchmarks by 4,746 percent.
The campaign also garnered brand equity, with scores of likeability at 63 percent (53 percentage points above norm) and relevance at 55 percent (29 percentage points above norm.)
And most importantly, the brand saw 1.6 percent growth in market share year-on-year, beating targets by 60 percent.