WHEAT THINS & COLBERT by Starcom Mediavest Group New York for Wheat thins

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WHEAT THINS & COLBERT

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Industry Confectionery & snacks, Snacks
Media Film, Digital, Interactive & Mobile
Market United States
Agency Starcom Mediavest Group New York
Released June 2012

Awards

Cannes Lions 2012
Branded content & entertaiment lions Best brand or product integration into an existing TV show or series Gold

Credits & Description

Type of entry: Branded Entertainment
Category: Best brand or product integration into an existing TV show or series
Advertiser: KRAFT
Product/Service: WHEAT THINS
Agency: STARCOM MEDIAVEST GROUP New York, USA
Advertiser KRAFT
Product WHEAT THINS
Entrant STARCOM MEDIAVEST GROUP New York, USA
Type of Entry: Branded Entertainment
Category: Best brand or product integration into an existing TV show or series
Title: WHEAT THINS & COLBERT
Advertiser/Client: KRAFT
Product/Service: WHEAT THINS
Entrant Company: STARCOM MEDIAVEST GROUP New York, USA
DM/Advertising Agency: STARCOM MEDIAVEST GROUP New York, USA
2nd DM/Advertising Agency: COMEDY CENTRAL New York, USA

Senior Vice President/Group Client Director: Dan Kern (Starcom Mediavest Group)
Vice President/Production/Development: Eric Levin (Starcom Mediavest Group)
Senior Vice President/Group Client Director: Kathleen Dundas (Starcom Mediavest Group)
Senior Vice President/Group Client Director: Melissa Shapiro (Starcom Mediavest Group)

Describe the campaign/entry
For the most part, branded entertainment and integrations are welcome – and to a certain degree – expected, depending on the program. Specifically, for our piece we faced the challenge of walking the fine line between integration and endorsement. Several networks, talent, etc. are careful to not make it appear as though they are a paid endorser of the product. Networks will also often ask for a media commitment tied to any type of integration, and this varies depending on the show.



Results


Our challenge with Wheat Thins was that it was perceived as an older brand. One that was nutritious, boring, outdated and unappealing to the younger consumer. The cracker category in general was seeing a decline in sales. We needed a way to bring Wheat Thins back to the mainstream and become a consideration to Millennials as a go-to snack.
Given that Wheat Thins had spent so much time catering to an older consumer, we needed a way to breakthrough to our target in a memorable way. We knew our target consisted of ‘Power Snackers’ – those relying on grazing to carry them through the day. They expect great taste and exciting flavours, and sharing and conversation among this target is key. So, our objective was to find a way to make Wheat Thins a consideration among this group, along with making them exciting, shareable and fun.
We needed to find a voice that spoke directly to our target. Someone that could bring Wheat Thins the attention it needed, and a personality who could instantly change everyone’s perception. That person was Stephen Colbert.
Wheat Thins was written into a premiere episode that aired on 23 Feb. For the first time ever, Colbert seamlessly wove Wheat Thins into an entire 7-minute segment of the show. Using the brand’s brief as a starting point, Colbert brought his coveted sense of humour and satire to create one of his more memorable segments to date.




Describe the creative solution to the brief/objective.



Stephen Colbert and his show, ‘The Colbert Report,’ regularly draw a large and specific audience. People tune into his show expecting a certain type of humour, along with Colbert's famous commentary on religion, politics, etc. He regularly gains traction in the social space, and several high-profile websites feature some of his more memorable segments. He also manages to grab a large audience on his site where users are able to watch full episodes – or clips of episodes. The particular show our integration was a part of was the third highest rated of the season.




Describe the results in as much detail as possible.



For the first time ever, and for nearly 7 minutes, Colbert took the Wheat Thins brief and dissected it in a way only he could do. This particular show was the third highest rated of the season and since airing, has been viewed nearly 760,000 times online. Within minutes of the segment airing, the social space exploded with hundreds of comments on Twitter. Wheat Thins also added nearly 6,000 Facebook fans in the span of 24 hours.
There was also a major PR response with several major outlets – Huffington Post, AdWeek, Consumerist, Agency Spy and others – picking up on the story. The integration became a big topic of conversation on the web, and also allowed for the brand to begin a 2-way conversation with their consumers via the brand’s Twitter page.
Ultimately, the integration pushed the brand into new and unfamiliar territory and in doing so, instantly reached the target they desired in a place consumers already looked to as a source of news and comedy. In the end, Colbert delivered his trademark sense of humour and satire – and instantly changed the perception of Wheat Thins among our core target.