Sour Patch Kids candy will launch its new "Breaking Out" video series today, and it's being billed as the first branded show to cast a group of YouTube stars as scripted characters.
The six-part series is part of the snack brand giant Mondelez International's goal to move 10 percent of its global advertising spend to online video, including a one-year deal with Google. As part of its investment, Sour Patch Kids is working with YouTube network Fullscreen and four influential YouTube stars: O2L’s Ricky Dillon, Andrea Russett, Chris Collins and Brent Rivera. Collectively the stars claim 5 million YouTube subscribers.
The series follows the four characters through the ups and downs of being a teenager while also plugging Sour Patch Kids characters. In the first three-minute video, Russett (who counts more than 1.7 million YouTube subscribers) plays Andrea Smith, the new girl at school. When things go awry with her locker in one scene, a set of animated Sour Patch Kids jump out of her backpack.
Mondelez's new video program will have some paid media behind it, but mostly it is counting on the influencers to spread the word. In addition to the series, the influencers will also post weekly in-character videos on their channels.
The YouTube work builds on another influencer program that tapped Vine star Logan Paul to launch the Sour Patch Kids' Snapchat account earlier this year.
As of last week, online video and mobile make up 20 percent of Mondelez's global advertising spend. Sour Patch Kids' brand director Farrah Bezner declined to say how much her brand pours into digital but disclosed that it was more than 20 percent. "Both for mobile and for total digital spend as a percent of media, I would say that a brand like Sour Patch is ahead of the curve versus the total Mondelez [spend] given we're targeting teenagers," she said.