Allan Candy finds a recipe for success in new campaign

July 09, 2012  |  Chris Powell  |  Comments

A Canadian senior is taking on big candy in a new campaign promoting The Allan Candy Company’s new Desserts Bites product.

To drive awareness and trial of Dessert Bites – bite-sized chocolate candies that come in classic dessert flavours, including raspberry cheesecake, apple pie and key lime pie – Allan’s AOR, Cundari, created the “Justice for Helen” campaign.

The premise of the six-week effort is that the Allan Candy Company stole a kindly grandmother’s signature dessert recipes to create the Dessert Bites product. The multi-faceted campaign includes online, a sampling program and out-of-home elements.

At the heart of the campaign is a series of what appear to be homemade posters bearing messages such as “Too delicious to NOT be stolen” and “Delicious? YES. Deceitful. YOU BETCHA!” They are accompanied by a series of “defaced” posters promoting Dessert Bites in which the word “Helen’s” has been inserted into copy reading “Treat yourself to dessert.”

All of the posters drive to a blog,, where a woman named Helen Woganowski is documenting her battle against the “dastardly” Allan Candy Company in homespun fashion.

The site further drives to the Dessert Bites Facebook page – which currently has more than 15,000 followers – where people can view a series of eight viral videos documenting Helen’s battle with Allan, as well as video responses from the company as it attempts to defend itself from the theft accusation. The Facebook site also offers a $2 off coupon in an effort to drive trial for the product.

Online ads on food websites such as, and MSN also drive to the site.

Allan is also conducting a sampling program, with the Desserts Bites product being distributed at selected restaurants – through branded billfolds given to women-only tables – and at spas.

“This will help create an emotional connection to the brand, positioning it as an indulgent treat just for them,” said Randi Casey, Allan’s senior marketing manager. “The goal is that the women will buy the product and do the same at home.”

Generating trial is a key component of the campaign, said Casey. “Consumers that try it, love it,” she said. “It tastes just like classic desserts and is convenient for busy lifestyles.”

The campaign is aimed at primary grocery shoppers, women 25-50 years old, a group that tends to over-index in its use of online and social media sites.

Allan also partnered with out-of-home advertising company NewAd to place posters in key locations such as women’s change rooms at gyms and fashion stores, trying to reach them at a time they might be in the mood to treat themselves.

Dessert-flavoured snack foods are currently “on trend,” said Casey. Earlier this year, for example, Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit gum brand launched the Juicy Fruit Desserts gum with flavours including Apple Pie and Orange Crème Pop.

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