ROM: The American Takeover by BV McCann Erickson Bucharest for Rom

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ROM: The American Takeover

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Industry Chocolate, Bars, Baking, Cakes & Desserts
Media Ambient, Promo & PR
Market Romania
Agency BV McCann Erickson Bucharest
Creative Director Dinu Panescu
Art Director Ionut Cojocaru, Andra Badea
Released April 2011

Awards

D&AD Awards 2012
Integrated & Earned Media Integrated Yellow Pencil

Credits & Description

Type of Entry: Use of Promo & Activation
Category: Best New Product Launch/Re-Launch or Multi-Product Promotion at Retail
Title: AMERICAN ROM
Advertiser/Client: KANDIA DULCE
Product/Service: CHOCOLATE BAR
Entrant Company: BV MCCANN ERICKSON Bucharest, ROMANIA
Sales Promotion/Advertising Agency: BV MCCANN ERICKSON Bucharest, ROMANIA
Name Company Position
Creative Director: Dinu Panescu (McCann Erickson Romania)
Group Creative Director: Group Creative Director (McCann Erickson Romania)
Group Creative Director: Catalin Dobre (McCann Erickson Romania)
Account Director: Ruxandra Savulescu (McCann Erickson Romania)
Art Director: Ionut Cojocaru (McCann Erickson Romania)
Florin Florea (McCann Erickson Romania)
Art Director: Andra Badea (McCann Erickson Romania)
Account Director Online: Cristina Birleanu (MRM Parteneri Romania)
Art Director Online: Laurentiu Stere (MRM Parteneri Romania)
Describe the brief from the client:
Romania’s ROM chocolate bar is the traditional Romanian chocolate that we all grew up with. Launched in 1964 with the Romanian flag on its wrapper, it enjoys 95% brand awareness, yet its share and volume were plummeting with only 14.5% of people listing it as their favourite brand. ROM had an ageing, nostalgic consumer base and was losing ground with the young generation. In a category in which success means continuously attracting younger fans, ROM’s nationalistic values were a disadvantage. How could ROM, a chocolate bar bearing the Romanian flag, gain appeal to youngsters with few national values?
Describe how the promotion developed from concept to implementation:
Youngsters prefer ‘cool’ American confectionery brands (Snickers and Mars) to ROM. Our solution was not to fight against, but to join them and thus challenge the young Romanians' national ego. We triggered a public debate about national values by launching a limited edition of an ‘American’ ROM – same product, same price, but branded with the US flag. We put the product in stores, encouraged sampling, announced the change in media, and stirred the debates. After one week, we made the reveal: the old ROM was back as Romanian as ever, while the American ROM became a collector’s item.
Describe the success of the promotion with both client and consumer including some quantifiable results:
The campaign reached 67% of Romanians and generated €300,000 of free publicity. The online response was phenomenal: in six days, ROM’s website had 75,000 unique visitors; Facebook fans rose by 300%; supporters launched petitions and organised a flash-mob in Bucharest. All brand image indicators exploded, especially 'ROM is a brand for me', which more than doubled - a 124% increase. ROM outperformed the market, with 20% growth (compared to 8.2% category growth) in the most relevant channel, hypermarkets, while the American ROM was sold out. Most importantly, ROM ousted Snickers to become Romanians’ favourite chocolate bar (79% increase of the indicator).
Explain why the method of promotion was most relevant to the product or service:
This campaign made ROM the first brand that had the courage to test and play with people’s national ego on a national scale. We took away something people were taking for granted: the national flag from the most traditional chocolate bar, Rom. We knew that although young Romanians tend to be negative about themselves and their country, their patriotism returns when challenged. This ‘reactive patriotism’ underpinned our ground-breaking campaign that challenged young people’s national ego in order to re-establish ROM as a cherished