Jan 13, 2010

CASE STUDY: Re-branding the Mars Bar in a vote of confidence for Tasmanian football

Mars set out to revitalise its presence in Tasmania by putting its flagship brand firmly behind the regional football team.

CASE STUDY: Re-branding the Mars Bar in a vote of confidence for Tasmanian football
Mars Snackfood’s flagship product, the Mars Bar, was already a well-recognised brand on the Australian island of Tasmania, with an awareness level of around 95 per cent. The challenge was to translate this awareness into an increase in sales. To maximise impact, the brand decided to avoid traditional advertising tactics and concentrate on its sponsorship of a Tasmanian team in the Australian Football League (AFL), Team Tassie.

Developed alongside G2/Graffiti Group, the ‘Believe’ campaign set out to activate Mars’ three-year sponsorship deal and fully engage the AFL community, which represented a major target audience for the brand.

The initiative was divided into two phases. Firstly, Mars was elevated to heroic status as a supporter of the Tasmanian team on terrestrial station Channel Nine’s The Footy Show, which announced the deal exclusively. Having gone public with the news, Mars then underwent a dramatic temporary re-branding process, changing the Mars Bar to the Believe Bar as a demonstration of its faith in the team.

Supporting material included a TV commercial filmed at one week’s notice; an on-pack SMS component directing consumers to SMS their support for Team Tassie; a ‘Believe’-branded football jersey; and a themed poster designed by celebrated local cartoonist Weg, which ran across newspapers The Herald Sun and The Sunday Tasmanian.

One million limited edition Believe bars were sold in the initial days of the campaign, resulting in an unprecedented second run of 200,000.

Overall, product sales in Tasmania saw a 73 per cent increase following the campaign, which also engaged almost 3,000 fans via the SMS component.

Client: Mars Snackfood
Product: Mars Bar
Campaign: Mars Believe/Team Tassie
Agency: G2/Graffiti Group Australia
Exposure: TV, print, mobile, on-ground activation


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