Ferrero’s New Campaign for Crunch Is an Absurdist Take on Advertising’s Lofty Promises

It's the third brand from the candy company to get an overhaul this year

Crunch's new campaign is a spoof on ads that over-promise. Crunch

In its first campaign for Crunch since the company bought it (and the rest of Nestle’s chocolate portfolio) two years ago, Ferrero plays on one of the great clichés of advertising: overpromising.

To introduce people to its new concept of “CRUNCHing,” the candy brand released a series of ads today to show viewers how the technique brings some simple joy to Crunch-ers during a year when that’s desperately needed—even if they’ve got no real evidence that the candy bar is anything more than just a candy bar.

In one spot, a fictitious professional notes “thousands of people, if not a handful” have already found “CRUNCHing” helpful. That vague under-promise is followed by a montage of people who are failing miserably at their tasks, but seem downright giddy about it.

In one instance, a batter swings at a ball that he misses by several inches. In another, an artsy-looking older woman attempts to draw a younger woman on a bench at the park, but the result looks like it was produced by a preschooler. Still, they’re happy as can be—thanks to “CRUNCHing.”

Ferrero started working on the Crunch campaign in May. Like so many other brands this year, the company chose to lean into the absurd—simply hoping to give folks a laugh in a year that’s already delivered so much stress and chaos.

“We thought a lot about what’s happening in the world today,” said the company’s svp of marketing for Nutella and chocolate snacks Mark Wakefield. “We wanted to make sure that we can give people some emotional uplift, and some fun and levity. … I think that’s always important in confectionary advertising—that’s what we’re here for. We’re a joy category.”

Since Ferrero bought Nestle’s U.S. candy business in 2018 for $2.8 million, the company’s been working on updating the brand identity, recipes and packaging for some of the iconic candy bars that it took on with the acquisition.

In September, Ferrero unveiled a new recipe, package and ad campaign for Butterfinger, creating a detailed, whodunnit storyline around candy thievery. In October, the company launched a new brand platform and campaign for Tic Tac, as well, called “Refreshing Moments.”

That makes the new Crunch initiative the third campaign launch in as many months for Ferrero. While Crunch’s recipe didn’t get any updates in the way that Butterfinger did, the brand changed Crunch’s packaging to bring the simplicity of the candy’s ingredients front and center—just rice and chocolate.

The new campaign coincides with a packaging refresh for Crunch.

Next, Wakefield said that the company’s working on campaigns for Baby Ruth and 100 Grand—two more of the brands that Ferrero acquired through the deal with Nestle—as well as new projects for the Italian company’s longtime offerings, Nutella and Kinder.

@klundster Kathryn Lundstrom is Adweek's breaking news reporter based in Austin.