Rom Digital, DM, Case study ROMANIANS ARE SMART by BV McCann Erickson Bucharest

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Industry Chocolate
Media Digital, Interactive & Mobile, Direct marketing, Case study
Market Romania
Agency BV McCann Erickson Bucharest
Creative Director Adrian Preda
Art Director Arpad Rezi, Laurentiu Stere
Copywriter Alexandru Vicol, Sebastian Olar
Strategic Planner Ileana Serban Parau
Released February 2012


Cannes Lions 2012
Direct Lions Best Low Budget Campaign Silver
Media Lions Best Use of Digital Media Silver
Media Lions Fast Moving Consumer Goods Bronze

Credits & Description

Type of entry: Strategy
Category: Best Low Budget Campaign
Advertiser: KANDIA DULCE
Product/Service: ROM
Product ROM
Type of Entry: Strategy
Category: Best Low Budget Campaign
Advertiser/Client: KANDIA DULCE
Product/Service: ROM
Entrant Company: BV McCANN ERICKSON Bucharest, ROMANIA
DM/Advertising Agency: BV McCANN ERICKSON Bucharest, ROMANIA
Creative Partner: Adrian Botan (BV McCann Erickson)
Group Creative Director: Catalin Dobre (BV McCann Erickson)
Group Creative Director: Dinu Panescu (BV McCann Erickson)
Copywriter: Sebastian Olar (BV McCann Erickson)
Art Director: Arpad Rezi (BV McCann Erickson)
Senior Account Executive: Raluca Voinea (BV McCann Erickson)
Strategic Planner: Ileana Serban Parau (BV McCann Erickson)
AV Producer: Adrian Radu (BV McCann Erickson)
AV Producer: Alexandru Platon (BV McCann Erickson)
Managing Director: Calin Buzea (MRM Worldwide)
Creative Director: Adrian Preda (MRM Worldwide)
Art Director: Laurentiu Stere (MRM Worldwide)
Copywriter: Alexandru Vicol (MRM Worldwide)
Account Director: Alina Cuzmin (MRM Worldwide)
Account Executive: Catalina Ciorei (MRM Worldwide)
Web Developer: Constantin Bunica (MRM Worldwide)
Managing Director: Mihai Trandafir (Universal Media)
Planning Director: Victor Croitoru (Universal Media)
Media Manager: Alina Carasol (Universal Media)
Digital Planner: Luminita Visu (Universal Media)
Corporate Public Relations Manager: Carmen Bistrian (McCann PR)
Public Relations Executive: Sorina Iordan (McCann PR)
Account Manager: Sanziana Fanica (Mccann Erickson)
Describe the brief from the client
Since its launch in 1964, ROM chocolate bar was a beacon of patriotism. After challenging Romanians’ ego in 2010 with the American ROM campaign, the brand had consolidated its position as national pride champion. After 1 year off air, ROM’s market share and brand indicators were going down. The brand needed to win back consumer's hearts and get back on track, all within a very small budget.
We were challenged to create a brand activation that would rekindle people’s national pride for December 1st -Romania’s National Day- a date that meant to Romanians just another day off work.

Creative Execution

Since ROM already had a background in stirring national pride controversy after 2010’s American ROM campaign, we were one of the few brands on the market with enough credibility to attempt to play on Romanians’ pride.
Due to our low budget, our target profile (ROM is the preferred candy bar for 25-35 year-olds), and the nature of our task, the campaign was mainly online driven. Once the online campaign took off, the public support generated brought the cause to mainstream media, giving us the same exposure as if we were to air a TV campaign.

Describe the creative solution to the brief/objective.

Our solution was rooted in a stunning discovery... If one Googled: ‘Romanians are’ in various languages the suggested search predictions were all derogatory. We knew the predictions could change if there were enough positive searches and online content on Romanians.
Changing Romanians’ image online was the perfect cause for ROM to embrace to reach its objectives. For this we redirected ROM‘s webpage to a landing page, where people could generate automated searches in Google pages around the world. Our catchphrase: 'Romanians are smart'. The campaign became a grassroots national pride movement, starting online and later transitioning to mainstream media.

Describe the results in as much detail as possible.

In one month we generated 664,332 searches via ROM's website. But even more searches were generated as people directly googled the campaign or used partner websites.
600 national and international online posts with thousands of comments generated momentum for the campaign and positive content for ROM. With a total investment under €60,000 (production, media and in-store budget), ROM's campaign earned €577,000 worth of free offline media and managed a 20% boost in sales, an 8% rise in market share.
And, finally, we turned Romania into the first country to change its image over the Internet.