Butterfingers now insured against people laying fingers on them

Posted on Mon Apr 5 2010

There are lots of things one can insure: a false nose, six-pack abs, celebrity boobs, you get the picture. Add to that: Nestlé's Butterfinger candy bar. Last week, the world's largest food company insured its "crispety, crunchety peanut butter" candy brand through global insurance market Lloyd's of London. (The policy is worth $1 million.) The move was meant to underscore Nestlé's seriousness behind its brand tagline: "Nobody's gonna lay a finger on my Butterfinger!" In true insurance spirit, Nestlé that same day (April Fool's, but "this is no joke," the brand insists) also kicked off an ad campaign to get the word out: Through April 14, consumers can file an online claim if someone indeed touches their Butterfinger. Nestlé will mail out a coupon for one free Butterfinger bar to the first 100,000 consumers. (It's a no-questions-asked policy.) Geez. If only it were really that way with insurance!

—Posted by Elaine Wong

Nestlé's Wonka chocolate gets even more scrumdiddlyumptious

Posted on Mon Mar 1 2010


Argh! BrandFreak gave up chocolate for Lent. (OK, we supposedly gave up chocolate for Lent, which is what we've been telling ourselves every year since our mother enrolled us in Catholic school at age 7.) Tempting us to break the fast this year is none other than Nestlé's Wonka Exceptionals. For those of you who associate Wonka with children's candies, the collection just got a whole lot "scrumdiddlyumptious," which indeed happens to be the name of the new candy bar we're drooling over. Nestlé says it's the first premium chocolate line for the entire Wonka brand, which includes delectables like the Wonka Chocolate Waterfall Bar and the Wonka Domed Dark Chocolate Bar. What makes it so darn delicious, and irresistible, is the use of ingredients like "scrumptious toffee pieces," "creamy white chocolate swirled in milk chocolate" and "rich, velvety dark chocolate topped with smooth milk chocolate drops." (Excuse us while we wipe the saliva off the keyboard.) BrandFreak had the pleasure of speaking with Janet the Planet (pictured above), the innovation manager behind the Wonka Experience. As we wrote in our Brandweek Q&A this week, Janet the Planet is her legal name. (She won't tell us what it was before she changed it 12 years ago.) Even better, her husband's name is Richie Rescue, or at least, that's what he's in the process of changing it to. Of course, this only happens when you're talking with the folks at Wonka.

—Posted by Elaine Wong

Nescafé still turning up its nose at Starbucks' Via instant coffee

Posted on Wed Feb 17 2010


When Starbucks introduced its Via instant coffee last September, it went all out to promote it, even to the point of supposedly instructing baristas to do anything to get people into try it, including using guilt as a motivator. All the strong-arming was worth it, though, since Starbucks recently reported that Via has been a hit. It's not surprising, then, that Nestlé's Nescafé, a competitor in the instant-coffee segment, is attempting to strike back. Outdoor ads from McCann Erickson's Los Angeles office compare Nescafé to an unnamed competitor that just happens to have a green logo with the word "hype" in the middle of it. (Nescafé, for its part, is represented by a cup emblazoned with the word "Flavor.") This is just the latest salvo from the Nestlé brand. Last June, Nescafé greeted the looming introduction of Via with an ad that said: "Dear  Starbucks, imitation is flattery. Charging 400% more, not so much."

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Olympians fight over what makes Nestle Crunch bars taste good

Posted on Tue Jan 5 2010

Nestlé's latest campaign for its Crunch bar features an Olympic gymnast jumping over an oncoming bobsled (OK, there was video editing, according to some reports) and a gold-medal speedskater skating down a luge track. Just what the heck does a candy bar brand have to do with daring sports feats? The confectionary maker is using the videos to promote the launch of its new Crunch bar. Apolo Ohno and Shawn Johnson, the athletes featured in the spots, are leading the debate over chocolate versus crunch (i.e., which of the bar's two ingredients make the new Crunch taste better?). Ohno is representing Team Chocolate, while those who like crispies are rooting for Johnson. Consumers can play a trivia game at the Nestlé Crunch Facebook page to earn points for their respective team, and there's also a daily giveaway prize of (yes, you guessed it) 1,000 free Nestlé Crunch bars. Munch munch.

—Posted by Elaine Wong

Cranberry Raisinets a challenge to regular Raisinets' self-esteem

Posted on Wed Nov 4 2009

These fruit wars can be entertaining. In August, Nestlé released the first two parts of a multi-chapter webisode series promoting the launch of its new Cranberry Raisinets. It showed Cran Berry, a sassy, animated talking antioxidant snack, making her way to Chocolate Springs. As her name implies, she's not a typical Raisinet (the snacktime favorite of theatergoers), and the other raisins are jealous. All four webisodes, plus "bonus outtakes," are now up, courtesy of OgilvyInteractive, which worked with Nestlé on the launch. Cran dances her way to fame in the final chapter. (Oops, spoiler!) One bonus outtake shows how hard it is to pronounce "chocolate bog blog" (we got tongue-twisted and didn't even try it three times fast). Another, shown here, explains good fruit table manners. Cran orders a grape juice, to the horror of the raisins, who are, after all, shrunken grapes. "You are what you eat, girls," she tells them.

—Posted by Elaine Wong

Summer music festival about to get even more hallucinogenic

Posted on Wed Mar 25 2009


Could the Bamboozle summer music festival be the trippiest event this side of the Magical Mystery Tour? Newly inked title sponsor Nestle USA's Wonka candy seems to be doing its part to position the touring rock show as a real-life walk through the Chocolate Factory. There's even a (sort of) golden ticket!
  The candy marketer, known for brands like Pixy Stix, Laffy Taffy and Everlasting Gobstoppers, plans a "one-of-a-kind imagination station" called WonkaVision, where concertgoers can play candy-related games and create artwork that will be posted on Wonka.com. (Is it so far-fetched to figure that fans at a massive outdoor emo, pop and punk show would already have some kind of WonkaVision going on?) The marketer will also roll out an exclusive sneak peek at a new product to the tens of thousands who show up to see Fall Out Boy, No Doubt, We The Kings, Forever The Sickest Kids and Mercy Mercedes at places like the Meadowlands Sports Complex in New Jersey and the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine, Calif. The licorice and fruit punch-flavored concoction is called Kazoozles, according to a press release from Wonka and concert behemoth Live Nation, and promises to be "delickoricious." 
  The sponsor will dole out VIP perks, including Wonka Gold Cards, to some fans, giving them choice seats at the concerts, six months of free candy, a dip in the Chocolate River and a ride in the Great Glass Elevator. Ok, maybe not those last two.

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

Coca-Cola's calorie-burning soda Enviga goes up in flames

Posted on Fri Feb 27 2009


In 2006, Coca-Cola debuted something of a miracle product called Enviga. The sparkling green tea's claim was that you drink three cans and burn an average of 106 calories. Pepsi was waiting in the wings with Tava, its own calorie-burning drink. But Enviga was quickly met with skepticism, and then a lawsuit from the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Pepsi reacted by radically altering its plans for Tava. Enviga, meanwhile, set out to defend itself. It didn't work. The Boston Herald reports today that Coke and Nestlé (who partnered to create the drink) agreed to pay out a settlement of $650,000 to 27 states. It will also add disclaimers to the product, which is already on its way to extinction. Apparently, its weight-loss claims weren't the only thing no one bought.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein

Japanese kids break off a piece of that KitKat bar for good luck

Posted on Wed Feb 4 2009

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If I were an actor about to appear on a Broadway stage, you might tell me to "break a leg" for good luck. If I were a Japanese student about to take my college entrance exams, you'd simply break me off a piece of that KitKat bar.
  In Japanese culture, it is believed that KitKats bring good luck to students each spring. Students sometimes spend a year or two at pricey private schools prepping for the tests, so a lot rides on them. It is therefore customary to engage in various superstitions—likethe use of lucky language charms—to increase one's chances of doing well. "Kitto Katto," as the candy is called in Japan, sounds similar to the Japanese phrase "kitto katsu," which roughly translates to "You shall surely win/be victorious." Conversely, there are "unlucky" soundalike words in Japanese, according to the Web site Snopes.com, so households may ban the use of those for, say, "slip" or "fall" around students during test time.
  Nestlé has launched a limited-edition "Sakura KitKat" in honor of these students cramming for exams. (The chocolate bars are marketed by Hershey's in the U.S. but by Nestlé in Japan.) The wrapper features a pink-and-white cherry-blossom design that serves as a symbol for the April test-taking season. The confectioner's Japanese Web site features a TV commercial in which a grandfather mails a special KitKat care package to his hard-studying granddaughter. The term "sakura saku" translates to "the cherry-blossom blooms," and is used to congratulate someone who has passed a college-entrance exam.

—Posted by Becky Ebenkamp



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