Haribo’s Gummi Bears Make TV Debut

Haribo this week debuted two spots for its popular gummi bear brand, Gold-Bears. The move marks the brand’s first U.S. TV effort, which aims to remind consumers why kids love the chewy, colorful confection.

One spot shows a group of children (dressed like executives) seated around a table and voicing their gummi bear preferences. “My focus group likes the green,” one boy says enthusiastically, while another boy—dressed in a sweater and bowtie—counters: “Actually, clear pineapple is the best according to my calculations.”

A second spot, featuring the same cast of kids, focuses on taste. “Are Haribo Gold-Bears still the fruitiest?” Bobby, the leader of the group, asks his team. “Yes!” the children cheer. It’s not until Bobby’s mother walks in that it’s revealed the meeting is actually a make-believe play session.

TBC, an independent ad agency in Baltimore, created the campaign. The agency’s other clients include The Wall Street Journal and SABMiller. They’re currently airing on family-friendly networks like Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel.

Christian Jegen, president of Haribo of America, said prior to the TV effort, the brand primarily advertised via print media. The time was right since Haribo had achieved national distribution in the last 10 years. The U.S. is the “last big market frontier” for gummi bears, Jegen said.

Founded in 1920, Haribo is privately held and ranks as the largest gummi manufacturer in the world. It’s also among the world’s top 10 candy companies. (Others include Nestle and Wrigley-owned Mars.) The company sells 20 different Gold-Bear varieties in the U.S.

Gold-Bears sales have held up relatively well during the recession, said Jegen. “Consumers are still spending the money on something that will bring them joy and fun, and is something they like to eat,” he said.

Fittingly, the ads tap into childhood memories and emotions. “Candy brings everyone back to their childhood, even adults. It’s one of the most powerful emotions you can drive,” said Allan Charles, chairman and creative director at TBC.

Haribo did not disclose spending on the campaign.