Rom Case study AMERICAN ROM by BV McCann Erickson Bucharest

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Industry Chocolate
Media Case study
Market Romania
Agency BV McCann Erickson Bucharest
Associate Creative Director Alexandru Dumitrescu
Creative Director Adrian Botan
Art Director Ionut Cojocaru, Andra Badea
Copywriter Florin Florea
Strategic Planner Ileana Serban Parau
Released October 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Titanium and Integrated
Advertiser: KANDIA DULCE
Product/Service: ROM
Date of First Appearance: Oct 1 2010
Entry URL:
Creative Director: Adrian Botan (McCann Erickson Romania)
Group Creative Director: Dinu Panescu (McCann Erickson Romania)
Group Creative Director: Catalin Dobre (McCann Erickson Romania)
Account Director: Ruxandra Savulescu (McCann Erickson Romania)
Strategic Planner: Ileana Serban Parau (McCann Erickson Romania)
Art Director: Ionut Cojocaru (McCann Erickson Romania)
Copywriter: Florin Florea (McCann Erickson Romania)
Art Director: Andra Badea (McCann Erickson Romania)
Account Manager: Ruxandra Vasilescu (McCann PR, Weber Shandwick affiliate company)
Media Planning Director: Victor Croitoru (Universal McCann Romania)
Media Manager: Alina Carasol (Universal McCann Romania)
Account Executive: Sorina Iordan (McCann PR, Weber Shandwick affiliate company)
Account Director Online: Cristina Birleanu (MRM Parteneri Romania)
Art Director Online: Laurentiu Stere (MRM Parteneri Romania)
Associate Creative Director: Alexandru Dumitrescu (McCann Erickson Romania)
Senior Account Executive: Lavinia Vaduva (McCann Erickson Romania)
Media placement: TV Campaign – 5 Spots - Antena 1, Pro TV, Discovery, Prima TV, Antena 2, Realitatea TV, Kiss TV, MTV - 1 October, 2010
Media placement: Online Campaign- 2 Banners -;;; - 1 October, 2010
Media placement: OOH Campaign- 2 Layouts - Pitesti, Brasov, Bucuresti, Cluj-Napoca, Craiova, Iasi, Tg. Mures, Suceava, Timisoara - 1 October, 2010
Media placement: Radio Campaign – 1 Spot - Kiss FM, Pro FM, Radio 21, Radio ZU, Radio Guerilla - 13 October 2010

Describe the campaign/entry
ROM is the Romanian traditional chocolate bar 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 consumer base feeling nostalgic and patriotic about the brand, but lacked new, younger fans. Young Romanians are disillusioned and cynical, only 12% describing themselves as patriots. They prefer 'cool' American confectionery brands like Snickers and Mars.
How could ROM, a chocolate bar branded with the Romanian flag, gain appeal to youngsters so disengaged with national values?
We knew that although 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 Romanian product and icon.

Describe how the campaign/entry was launched across each channel in the order of implementation
Our solution was simple: instead of fighting the likes of Snickers and Mars, we joined them. We replaced the Romanian ROM with an 'American' one – same product, same price, but branded with US colours.
TV and poster ads launched the American ROM, bragging that the 'cool' new image will make Romanians feel prouder.
In-store 'American' brand ambassadors encouraged sampling.
We fostered and encouraged social media discussions about the 'American takeover'. Twitter and blogs continued the debate which was monitored and moderated via a 24/7 'War Room' within the agency. We managed internal and stakeholder communications.
Seven days later, following massive patriotic resurgence, TV commercials announced Romanian ROM’s comeback. All promotional materials changed overnight.
We rewarded the campaign’s biggest enthusiasts, inviting them to participate in TV debates.
The final reward was an anthem dedicated to the Romanian ROM and his fans – sang by real supporters of the brand.

Give some idea of how successful this campaign/entry was with both client and consumer
The campaign reached 67% of Romanians and generated €300,000 of free publicity. The ‘patriotism’ debate raged in the national media.
Online response was phenomenal: in the first six days, ROM’s website had 75,000 unique visitors; Facebook fans rose by 300%; supporters launched petitions and even organised a flash-mob in the capital.
Consumers created over 10 Facebook causes asking for the old ROM to be brought back, with the most popular reaching over 20000 users in one week, more than the cause for building national highways reached in one year!
All brand image indicators have literally exploded, especially "ROM is a brand for me", which more than doubled, with a 124% increase.
ROM outperformed the market, with a 20% growth (compared to 8.2% category growth) in the most relevant channel, hypermarkets.
Most importantly, ROM ousted Snickers to become Romanians’ favourite chocolate bar, with a 79% increase of the indicator.