Trolli Hopes to Win Over Teens With Quirky, Offbeat Spots and a Big Boost Online

'A little bit of WTF factor' can't hurt either

Candy brands are known for some truly bizarre advertising. Skittles' Super Bowl spot featured a small town where people had enormous biceps from arm wrestling for the lemon ones. Sour Patch Kids has had its fair share of unsettling ads, too. Now, Trolli is hoping a similar approach will appeal to teens on social media.

The brand and agency Periscope's three new spots introduce two new gummy products Trolli thinks teens will love—mini crawlers and extreme sour bites. TV ads begin running on April 27 for the first two spots, "Bio Class" and "Sour Tooth"—the third video launches on July 1. In the 30-second "Bio Class," a science class dissects a life-size gummy worm, which explodes into a mess of smaller worms.

Adweek also got a sneak peak at "Sour Tooth" before it launches later this month. It plays off of a candy lover's "sweet tooth," but with a twist.

Rob Peichel, vp and creative director at Periscope, explained that the weird ads are geared toward teens and the unusual pictures and videos they like to share online.

"We're just trying to carve our niche out of the huge area of weird candy, and we hope we do it in a really unique, awesome way," Peichel said. "That's the thing that we really tried to do in these new spots, which is always slightly offbeat—a little bit of WTF factor in it, and we think our fans really appreciate that."

All of the spots are getting a big push on social media with paid ads on Tumblr and Facebook. Trolli is also rolling out an app built by Snaps so teens can share GIFs, stickers and emojis.

"We'll be on-air; we'll be on TV, but we'll also be doing a ton of support around Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr [and] Instagram driving the awareness of this new app," said Jill Manchester, svp of marketing and branding strategy at Trolli's parent company Ferrara Candy Company. "To get these teens' attention, it has to be something that's wacky."

According to Manchester, Trolli's sales grew 20 percent last year. That growth led to a 40 percent increase in its marketing spend this year, with 30 percent going toward digital.

The goal is for digital to eventually make up 50 percent of Trolli's marketing budget. Competitor Mondelez, which owns Sour Patch Kids, is also on track for digital to generate half of its marketing by next year.


Client: Ferrara Candy Company

Spot titles (with runtime):

"Bio Class" :30 & :15

"Sour Tooth" :15

"Dino" :30 & :15

Airdate: Bio Class- Digital 4/6, TV 4/27/15

Sour Tooth- Digital & TV 4/27/15

Dino- Digital and TV- NOW 7/1/15

Where shot: Montevideo, Uruguay

Agency: Periscope. Minneapolis, MN

Creative Director:  Rob Peichel

Copywriter: John Sullivan

Art Director: Justin Davis, Jen Neis 

Producer: Kelly Farley 

Production Company: Central Films North

Director: Rodrgio Garcia Saiz

DP: Beto Casillas

EP/Producer: John Barreiro

Post Production Company (with location): Whitehouse. Chicago, IL

Editor: Brian Gannon

Assistant Editor: Frank Sigwarth

Post Producer: Caitlin Morris

Executive Post Producer: Kristin Branstetter

Colorist(s): Wes Waldron / Rob Winfield

VFX (with location): Zoic Studios. Los Angeles, CA

VFX talent: Ryan McDougal, Nadar Husseini

VFX Producer: Nicolas Vassil

VFX EP: Matt Thunell

VFX Head of Production: Ian Unterreiner

Music Company (with location): Echo Boys. Minneapolis, MN

Music & Audio Post Producer(s): Sara Davidson

Composer(s): Tom Lecher and Alex Berglund

Mixer: Chris Bartles

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