Mars Ambient, Case study Mars: Strauchanie Sponsorship by Starcom Mediavest Group Melbourne

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Mars: Strauchanie Sponsorship

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Industry Bars
Media Ambient, Case study
Market Australia
Agency Starcom Mediavest Group Melbourne
Released June 2009

Awards

Cannes Lions 2009
Media - Gold

Credits & Description

Type of Entry: Use of Media
Category: Best Use of Sponsorship
Title: STRAUCHANIE SPONSORSHIP
Advertiser/Client: MARS
Product/Service: MARS CHOCOLATE BAR
Entrant Company: STARCOM MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
Media Agency: STARCOM MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
Creative Credits
Name Company Position
David Trovell Starcom Strategy Director
Peter Toone Starcom Client Business Manager
Michael Leeds Starcom Client Business Director
Details
Results and Effectiveness:
Its not often a media idea becomes the face of a brand – but this media idea rewrote the rule book. New research isolated the effect of Strauchanie’s TV integration; growing Mars’ trial, purchase intent and favourite brand scores by 30% more than TV advertising. Supermarket orders increased by 30%, Mars ‘Fun Size’ sales went up 17% (halting a long term decline) and Mars became the country’s 3rd most ‘favourite brand’; an important measure of brand health. We are proud to say that Mars have resigned Strauchanie for 2009, and he even starred in this year's national conference.
Creative Execution:
Anyone can recommend sponsoring a sports star, but imagine the risk of a media agency recommending a fictional, wannabee footballer who thinks he’s a superstar. We realised that only a fictional player could make chocolate an essential part of a football team; and achieve the amount of in-programme branding we needed. For 16-weeks, Strauchanie appeared on the show with tales of his personal sponsorship by Mars – so "proving his greatness". The segments featured his interaction with football’s top players and his guest appearance in the AFL Legends game (wearing Mars boots!) which made national TV & radio news. We then took Strauchanie beyond the TV show. Strauchanie featured in TV ads and made guest appearances on other shows, he became the star of our consumer promotions, on displays in every supermarket in the country and even on the front of the new pack.
Insights, Strategy and the Idea:
Australia’s biggest selling chocolate bar had slipped to 5th place as ‘favourite chocolate brand’. Our challenge: increase Mars’ rating amongst 16-44s; and thereby increase purchase intention. We had no new news but did have a new insight. Loyal consumers chose Mars to transform their mood, to give them a mental boost. The insight behind this? People looking to transform their mood turn to brands they know will deliver; brands like Mars. We needed to take this ‘change agent’ positioning to a broader audience. Our strategy: dominate mood changing media. Key media property: Before The Game, a mass-appeal show that transforms viewers from lazy weekend slump to pre-game excitement. Our controversial solution to embed Mars into this perfect media moment was to sponsor Strauchanie - the show’s spoof professional footballer. An overweight underachiever who thinks he is a superstar – it was high risk but potentially higher reward.