I’m the kind of guy who likes to understand how things work and uncover the bigger, interconnections and patterns behind it all. As U.S. President at The Hershey Company, that’s a big part of my day job.
But I also share this view with my sons in studying the game of football – from following players at the Reese’s Senior Bowl and draft day to the season finale of the Big Game. Because of this love, I often use sporting analogies to help describe what it’s like to call the plays for the greatest confection business in America.
Winning teams have the plays they practice over and over to consistently score points, and put the team in position to win each week. These plays require focus, repetition and discipline to produce a consistent level of excellence. Championship teams, though, take it one step farther. They understand that in order to win, you need the big play –that unexpected, make-the-crowd-go-wild moment—that changes everything, and that everyone will talk about on Monday. And making the big play comes from making a bold call at just the right moment.
I couldn’t be more proud to lead a tenacious U.S. commercial team that runs our core plays and puts wins on the board. They deeply understand our consumer from product and promotions to planning media, merchandising and retail. They consistently perform at a high level and set a standard of excellence, and set the stage for the big play.
Our big play is our recent rebranding of Take 5 under the Reese’s mega-brand and its even bigger introduction to American culture.
Making the Bold Call
We knew our Take 5 candy bar was a good product, but it was under-performing. While it was consistently showing some of the strongest repeat purchases in candy, the brand had very low awareness, and we had a choice to make. We could continue to keep running the same plays around a cult favorite and play it safe. Or, we could do something bold and change the course of the game.
Naturally, a winning team opts to go for the big play!
Because Take 5 has always been made with our Reese’s Peanut Butter, we made the move to bring this brand under the Reese’s line-up – with new, bold mega-brand packaging. Our packaging research indicated that the new branding was primed to drive sales velocity and the Reese’s brand helped to open doors for increased distribution.
Since taking the calculated risk of rebranding in July:
With the rebrand working, we knew we could build on the momentum to further increase consumer awareness and secure additional merchandising – but we would need to be even bolder…
Our play—to put Take 5 on one of the biggest brand stages in America, during the Big Game—would be a game-changer. For both our company and the Reese’s brand, it made sense to go big. Our brands have always been and continue to be part of cultural moments, and the Big Game is one of those uniting forces. Our Reese’s brand audience are largely sports enthusiasts, and there are few bigger stages than the season finale of professional football.
It’s the brand’s first time calling this game-changing type of play, and we’re excited for our team. Across the company, employees are ready for game day, suiting up in Reese’s orange to root for us. Our retail partners have been lock-step in this bold play—driving incremental merchandising for a shared win. And I believe we will drive the fans wild when more people see our new advertising creative, and discover one of the best candy bars they didn’t know about.