Sour Sweet Gone

2014 | Carat New Zealand

Ahhh teenagers … they’re a tough bunch. Easily bored, cynical about advertising, a bit of a handful and rebellious against authority.

So when Mondelez came to us with a new candy called Sour Patch Kids (SPK), which was specifically targeted to teenagers, we knew we’d have a tough job ahead getting their attention!

O Playfully Disruted We smashed brand scores of prompted awareness, ever tried and enjoyment against 15-24 year olds during launch


Mondelez traditionally plays in the family candy space with brands Pascall and the Natural Confectionary Company, so their share and recognition in teen candy is virtually non existent.

Additionally this category is dominated by Skittles and M&M’s – two global and local giants.

But Mondelez didn’t just want to launch SPK, they wanted to become the number one teen candy brand during launch. 


To find out more about teenagers, we braved focus groups to uncover truths that would help us successfully launch SPK and these key insights drove our campaign thinking:

1. Their two favourite candy brands are Skittles and M&M’s - “Because they’re hilarious”. To cut through, entertainment would be key.

2. They felt that parents and grown-ups frustratingly control their lives - they were hungry for freedom. This informed the need to give them fun experiences away from their parents.

3. Every day is boring... school, sport, homework…To get their attention, we’d have to bust through the boredom in an engaging, entertaining way.

4. They thought most advertising was “dumb” and would go out of their way to avoid it.

Leveraging these insights, our unifying strategy was: to playfully disrupt their world to entertain them.

SPK would stake out all the things they loved in media, and playfully disrupt them. Appearing unexpectedly within their world.  

Where possible, we’d turn media into pranks. Not in an annoying way, but in fun ways that would grab attention and bring a smile. First with sour (mean), then sweet (nice), and then disappear without interrupting their world further and becoming annoying.


Their top two media brands were Facebook and Instagram.  They claimed to check Facebook 20-30 times on a school day and more during weekends.

We launched a Facebook app that trawled through their Facebook status updates to determine whether they were sour or sweet enabling them to share their results with friends.

Then, we asked our Facebook fans to take a selfie eating Sour Patch lollies and #sourpatchselfie on Instagram which we broadcasted on digital billboards throughout Auckland.  

They would watch TV around dinnertime with parents (Home & Away and News), after dinner they’d sneak off to their bedrooms and stream TV shows on their laptops.

So, in NZ media first, we disrupted their favourite On Demand TV shows via a digital pop-up overlay: 

  • Smashing their screen’ (sour), then drawing a love-heart (sweet).

We also pranked unsuspecting teens going to cinema to see ‘The Inbetweeners 2’. 

When teens went to enter the movie, they were told the movie was an R-18 and to go up to the manager’s office (sour) and then sweetened their experience with free food, drinks and a VIP seat upgrade!

We pranked over 100 teens and broadcast them on SPK Facebook page and Edge TV.

O Playfully Disruted We smashed brand scores of prompted awareness, ever tried and enjoyment against 15-24 year olds during launch
$ SKP a sell out Sold out 13 weeks’ worth of stock in just two weeks
l Likes 21,4890 Likes and 1,600 app entries
Beacon Award

Beacon Award

Silver 2015

Best Launch Most Effective

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