Bounty Christmas PR Campaign
Bounty PR Agency
Since 2020 we’ve worked closely with the brand team at Mars Wrigley to build a truly collaborative agency and client partnership that brings earned media firepower into every single marketing channel – PR, Social, Shopper, Events and branded content.
Since 1997 Mars Wrigley’s Celebrations has battled with Heroes, Roses and Quality Street to win the seasonal chocolate war.
To make Celebrations the go-to choice, the agency/client team knew they had to reach as broad an audience as possible while making Celebrations synonymous with the festive season.
Success would be measured in terms of engagement, media coverage, brand SOV and sales.
Quantitive and qualitative research revealed that Bounty is the most divisive chocolate in the Celebrations tub – people either love them or hate them.
In 2021 we fired up the conversation with the launch of the ‘Bounty Return Scheme’ – where customers could exchange their unloved chocolates for Maltesers.
This proved the most successful PR campaign in Mars’ history and gave us the PR equivalent of that ‘tricky second album’ – how do you follow up a smash-hit campaign and go one better?
Our 2021 activation whipped up the nation’s Bounty-haters, but also highlighted widespread love for Bounty from an (all too often silent) coconut cohort…
We knew needed to speak to both sides of the debate – to rile Bounty haters whilst stoking sympathisers to speak up in support of the much-maligned choc.
But how could we engage both? If absence makes the heart grow fonder what would be the reaction if you got rid of Bounty altogether?
‘No-Bounty’ Celebrations tubs would go on sale in select supermarkets ahead of the festive period.
While the haters rejoiced, Bounty lovers would have to speak up or risk losing the bar forever. The country would be divided over a single question: ‘are Bounty’s really that bad?’
The media approach was multi-faceted and orchestrated with precision – limited edition tubs were sent to key influencers and journalists, and we hit up all relevant broadcast, digital and traditional media, showcasing the newly designed bounty-less tub.
Our supporting festive ad humanised Bounty and played on classic John Lewis ad tropes – a friendship between a misunderstood outsider and a human who teaches them the joy of Christmas. Working to a challenging budget we designed the costumes, wrote the scripts, composed and even recorded an original soundtrack in house.
Bounty began trending on Twitter as soon as the story broke and was at No.1 within a matter of hours, staying in the top ten for four consecutive days.
The nation woke up to every major breakfast broadcast show debating ‘To Bounty or Not to Bounty’.
Millions of listeners of Capital Radio, BBC Radio 1 and ITV’s Good Morning Britain, propelled the conversation to offices and pubs around the UK.
That night the ITV News at 10 dedicated a 3-minute segment to the story.
Celebrities got in on the debate too – Perri Edwards was heartbroken and Piers Morgan accused Celebrations of killing Christmas.
The Times even asked Prime Minister Rishi Sunak for his opinion.
Coverage was global – the news was debated on the Today Programme, covered in the New York Times and featured on Australian day time TV, amongst many others.
Every major national print title in the Uk ran the story and the media coverage continued to pour in over the weeks that followed, with the seasonal spot resulting in another huge spike.
- 6,502 pieces of coverage globally (3,688 in the UK)
- 4 Day Twitter trend – trending at no 1 on Day 1
- 452 million impressions on Twitter in the campaign period
- 80+ pieces of UGC TikTok content with over 4 million combined views
- 75 billion+ estimated reach globally