Getting Ready To ROM-ble

A little reverse psychology goes a long way.

McCann Erickson Bucharest have won not one but two Grand Prix Cannes Lions for their work on behalf of their client –  Kandia Dulce’s Rom chocolate bars.  Although a small campaign by world standards it became a global star at the awards.

By challenging and tapping into Romanian patriotism the campaign reinvigorated sales of the Rom bar helping it become the #1 chocolate bar of choice within the country.

The company’s entry explained their campaign strategy:

Romania’s ROM chocolate bar launched in 1964 with the Romanian flag on its wrapper; had an ageing, nostalgic consumer base. In a category in which success means continuously attracting younger fans, ROM’s nationalistic values were a disadvantage. 

Young Romanians are disillusioned and cynical towards national values, and prefer ‘cool’ American brands like Snickers – which lead as favourite brand with 19%. 

How could ROM, a chocolate bar bearing the Romanian flag, gain appeal to youngsters with few national values? Our strategy was to trigger a public debate about national values among youngsters and thus gain favorability for ROM brand. 

We challenged youngsters’ national Ego by replacing the Romanian flag on the package with the American one, and announcing it in the mass-media. We fostered and encouraged public debate triggered by the “American take-over”.

Social media, realtime TV and dedicated microsites all played key roles in the campaign. The debate reached 67% of Romania’s total population and increased ROM’s Facebook Fans by 300%.  Brand indicators increased by 124% and it ousted the US candy bar ‘Snickers’ as the country’s favourite.

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!

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About thedigitalconsultant

Roger Smith is a retired international, digital consultant and former British Council Director of Online Operations within the East Asia region.
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