NEW YORK: Sour Patch Kids, the candy line made by Mondelez International, has successfully engaged teenage consumers by making brand fame a key priority.

Farrah Bezner, Marketing Director/Halls & Candy at Mondelez, drilled down into this subject at Advertising Week 2015 in New York.

More specifically, she discussed how Sour Patch Kids has connected with teens via a diverse range of initiatives, from establishing two houses for touring musicians to making a scripted online series starring popular digital influencers.

"When we stepped back and we said, 'How can we transform this business, how can we make Sour Patch one of the fastest-growing candy brands in the world?', we asked ourselves one question: 'Can candy be famous?'" Bezner said. (For more, including four tips for brands, read Warc's exclusive report: How Sour Patch Kids built brand fame.)

"Why did we want to become famous? Because, well, fame is difficult. We actually think it is the driver of cultural relevancy. And so we set that as our target goal."

Be it partnering with Vine influencers on Snapchat or running a user-generated fiction campaign with storytelling platform Wattpad, all of its fame-driven efforts are based around the brand's "Sour Then Sweet" tagline.

"We have a really, really great personality," she said. "And our 'Sour Then Sweet' [positioning] is way more than the taste of the candy," said Bezner.

"'Sour Then Sweet' is our personality; it's our playful and loveable, but a little bit mischievous characters that we bring to life in new ways."

Indeed, the brand's mischievous mascots help demonstrate the product's positioning in practice, and are another common feature of its marketing.

"We realised something really quickly – that it wasn't about making the brand famous. It was about making the Kids famous," said Bezner. "The Kids and their personality is definitely something that we had and we could own.

"But we also knew that we had to take the Kids to places that people didn't necessarily expect us to be, and we needed to be a first-mover on platforms … that people didn't expect to see Sour Patch Kids."

Data sourced from Warc