Bomb Pop, the frozen ice treat shaped like a rocket, has been driving a few of one of the best sales and awareness results for the nearly 70-year-old brand by reallocating its media spend over the past 12 months to prioritize social media over traditional promoting while also integrating a gaming strategy.
By tuning into media platforms like TikTok, Snapchat and Roblox, the brand is best able to embrace the culture and trends relevant to its goal tween audience, helping deliver a 26% year-over-year increase in sales and a ten.5% increase in brand awareness.
Throughout, converting digital engagement into purchases has been a priority. This features a social media activation with actor Gavin Casalegno of Amazon Prime’s “The Summer I Turned Pretty” and artist Andrey Azizov to sell Bomb Pop-inspired products, including cameras, coolers, t-shirts, towels and a volleyball, through a virtual pop-up store. Access to the product line was granted by scanning the product with a Bomb Pop Snapchat Lens.
“Tweens’ taste and interests are continually evolving, so we have now adopted a method of availability, connection and innovation,” said Santhi Ramesh, chief industrial officer for Bomb Pop parent Wells Enterprises. “We want to be available in places where they’re naturally going. We want to connect with them in ways which are appealing, and we wish them to have the opportunity to express themselves and be free to be who they’re.”
Marketing a summer seasonal product resembling a frozen treat has its challenges. The pressure is on to make a whole 12 months’s value of goals in a scant three months. And when the goal market is tweens, who’re notoriously fickle and never necessarily repeat customers 12 months after 12 months, marketers have to work extra hard to stay nimble. For Bomb Pop, this has included profiting from unique media opportunities that don’t feel like promoting.
In July 2022, the brand launched a first-of-its-kind media buy on TikTok that combined a branded mission, hashtag challenge and branded effect competition, leading to the brand’s best July 4th sales ever.
The brand quickly followed this with an activation through Roblox that gave it a presence inside the Restaurant Tycoon 2 game. In partnership with Moonrock Labs and Gale, the brand brought its signature three-color look to various products inside gameplay and made the treats a sellable product in the sport. Over the three-week campaign, players “sold” greater than 48 million Bomb Pops, greater than doubling the brand’s 20 million virtual sales goal.
“We know that tweens are very into gaming, but constructing a game [from scratch] is amazingly labor intensive, and we wanted to make sure we were adding value,” said Lindsey Brand, creative director at Gale. “With our partnership with Moonrock Labs and Roblox we were able to integrate Bomb Pop right into a game they were already playing in an authentic way. It wasn’t promoting to them, and it sold more Bomb Pops.”
Some of those recent successes are born out of the brand’s and agency’s deep understanding of its tween goal, including paying close attention to what they’re liking and generating on social media.
“We do our research and we’re continually analyzing their interests,” Ramesh said. “When we observe social media content, we all know what they’re posting and reacting to, and that provides us clues about what their passion points are.”
Given the sensitivities around marketing to children, Ramesh and Brand also make sure that any information collected is anonymized and that the content they create and distribute is used responsibly.
“We will not be pushing content, but we’re making it available to them,” Ramesh said.
Just as crucially, the agency and brand profit from having good relationships with digital platforms in order that they can understand and capitalize on recent tools as they’re developed.
“For all the activations, we work with the platforms as true partnerships,” Brand said. “We want to make sure that it really works for the platform, just as much as it really works for our audiences.”
Though the calendar could also be heading into the colder months, the brand has no plans to decelerate. Through the winter, Bomb Pop will give attention to the hotter regions of the United States with a message of recapturing a “summer feeling” for a snack.
“We have identified where summer is year-round,” Ramesh said. “I don’t want to goal Chicago, but I would like to goal the Texases and the Floridas of the world. Bomb Pop sells 4 times the national average in those areas, even in December, so why would we limit the marketing to the tip of September?”
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