Aiming for Gen Xers, Tic Tac Refreshes Its Packaging

Reacting to some innovations in the adult mint category, Tic Tac is shaking things up with a sugar-free extension called Chill that sports new packaging.

The product, which comes in Paradise Mint and Exotic Cherry, is parent company Ferrero USA’s stab at tapping into two fast-growing segments of the market: sugar-free and strong-flavored entries.

Another change is in the packaging, which includes a sliding front panel, though the brand’s iconic flip-top remains.

Tom Lamb, group account director at Merkley + Partners, New York, which is handling a TV and online push for Chill, said the mint is aimed at harried consumers between ages 25 and 45.

“It’s based on an insight that Generation X is looking for a break in their stressful day,” Lamb said.

A TV ad, featuring the animated mints dancing in 3-D, is meant to underscore the theme. “The colors, the 3-D animation, the music, it all goes into building this overall sense of chill,” he said.

An online component of the campaign,, offers four free “chill” songs for downloads from Aqualung, The Isley Brothers, Cyndi Lauper, Nina Simone, Pat Monahan and others.

Spending for the campaign was not disclosed. Ferrero spent $9 million advertising Tic Tac through August. Reps from Ferrero could not be reached.

While Tic Tac has introduced more exotic flavors of late—including Cherry Passion, Apple Sour and Citrus Twist—the brand had not overhauled its packaging.

Tom Vierhile, director of Productscan Online at Datamonitor, Naples, N.Y., said the packaging innovation was a long time coming for Tic Tac. Whereas Altoids and some popular mints sold in Starbucks have embraced the tin can format, Tic Tac has resisted the impulse to join them.

“They’re trying to modernize the brand somewhat, to give it more of a personality,” he said.