DANA POINT, CA: Extra, the gum brand made by the Wrigley unit of Mars Inc., successfully tapped the power of behavioral economics to reinvigorate its positioning and build deeper consumer connections.

Orla Mitchell, president of Mars-Wrigley Confectionery’s gum and mints category business unit, discussed this subject at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 2018 Brand Masters Conference.

More specifically, she referenced ‘Give Extra, Get Extra’, a campaign based around the romantic story of a couple that also demonstrated the positive impacts that can result from sharing a single stick of gum.

“We saw the power of observation and behavioral economics could lead to truly understanding what it takes to grow brands in categories,” Mitchell said in explaining how Mars uses this approach to build brands. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: How Mars used behavioral economics to revive a near-dead brand.)

In the case of Extra, consumer observation indicated that people with gum were likely to share a piece with someone, be it a friend, family member or a relative stranger.

That compulsion to share, in turn, is a way to make a connection with somebody. And even a small connection of this kind can make people happier.

Working with Tal Ben-Shahar, an expert in positive psychology, helped bring this notion further to life, according to Jeff Adkins, managing director of agency Energy BBDO, who spoke on-stage alongside Mitchell.

“What he helped us understand in thinking about sharing was that when you make those little human connections – whether that’s a knowing glance, whether that’s helping somebody out a little bit on the subway, or whether that’s sharing a piece of gum – the aggregation of those little moments of bringing somebody else a little bit of joy makes you happier,” Adkins said.

“The bigger thing that he taught us: When you put all of those small moments together, that’s where the really strong relationships can come from.”

By expanding on the story of its romantic couple using various different content formats, Extra was also able to engage with consumers in fresh ways and, ultimately, boost sales.

“There is more and more pressure, particularly with media budgets going to shorter and shorter form; we realised that, obviously, the power of true storytelling has to celebrate both long form and short form,” Mitchell said.

Sourced from WARC