From goofy grins to stand-out chins, the extraordinary expressions of more than 3,000 candy-faced hopefuls came in fast and furious in the Make Your Face a Maynards search – the first contest of its kind to transform one lucky Canadian into a delicious candy treat. Oshawa, Ontario’s own Jessica Winacott was randomly selected from the top 10 finalists to become a bite-sized confectionary celebrity as the face of Maynards, Canada’s #1 candy brand. (Legaspie, 2011)
Maynards was a confectionery manufacturer in the United Kingdom and Canada. It was best known for manufacturing wine gums, Sour Patch Kids and Sour Cherry Blasters. Following acquisition by Cadbury in the 1990s, it is now a brand of Mondelez International. In 2016, the brand was joined with Bassett’s to create Maynard Bassetts. (Wikipedia, 2017)
The summer of 2011, the Canadian chewy confectionery brand Maynards launched a contest inviting fans to take webcam pictures of their faces and use them as the basis for a new version of the candy that was distributed across Canada. Existing and non existing Maynard customers had the opportunity to morph their fabulous features into virtual candy caricatures based on one of Maynards’ most popular treats: Sour Patch Kids, Fuzzy Peach, Sour Cherry Blasters, or Swedish Berries. (Legaspie, 2011)
Between the launch of the campaign in late July, 2011 and the official close of submissions on Sept. 30 2011, more than 3,000 people entered their designs through a special ” Make Your Face a Maynards” app on Facebook. (Houpt, 2011)
Maynard’s brand awareness from the initial launch started to increase.The company’s Facebook Fan acquisition started to increase dramatically. The number of people who clicked the brand’s Like button shot from about 30,000 to more than 91,000, powered in part by fans telling their friends they might soon be able to “eat my face!” (Houpt, 2011)
Maynard’s launched the contest in 2011, after research that year found that 80 per cent of their consumers were 18 or older. (Winsa, 2011)
“Our candy user is a lot older than we expected,” says Jessica Sheth, the company’s brand manager. And that wasn’t the only surprise. The study also found that many adults were eating candy more than once a day. (Winsa, 2011)
The contest was geared to young adults whose ambition is to achieve fame through social media.
On Oct. 24 2011, Maynards officials drew up the winner Jessica Winacott who received $5,000, a year’s supply of their own candy, and a trip to the Hamilton factory where the treat is manufactured – as well received the fame that came with being the literal face of a new candy. (Houpt, 2011)
Entries were judged not only on the appeal of the photo submissions, but on the creativity of their expression and fit with the Maynards’ personality. Winacott designed herself into a Maynards Fuzzy Peach, making sure her big eyes and perfect pucker popped to depict the ‘peachy tang’ she describes in her entry. Overall, her candified features made for an unusual, expressive, and deliciously odd combination, perfect for a Maynards treat. (Legaspie, 2011)
“Our fans are passionate about their candy, and with this contest we wanted to give them the chance to have fun with their favourite treats,” said Jessica Sheth, Brand Manager, Maynards Candy. “As the grand prize winner, Jessica Winacott will be preserved in candy history as the first ever face of Maynards.” (Legaspie, 2011)
Fastforward almost 6 years to 2017 and Jessica was still able to relive her winning moment like it was yesterday. In an interview conducted over Facebook with myself on October 30th 2017, Jessica discussed what it was like winning the “face” of Candy and her experience with the Maynard ” Make Your Face a Maynards” campaign:
“At the time it was an unreal experience. The representatives from Maynard’s/Cadbury and The Hive did a fantastic job at curating a very rockstar couple of weeks for me when we were preparing and organizing media for the announcement and launch of the candies. I had the opportunity to travel to the factory where they make the candies, appear on TV, make a commercial, be interviewed on the radio, do a bunch of (now embarrassing) photo shoots for newspaper cover stories, and I was even the host of the Promo! Awards where the Hive won three or four Gold Awards (Best Integrated Campaign, Most Innovative Idea or Concept and Best Activity Generating Brand Awareness) & Best of Show for the campaign. I am incredibly grateful for my moment in the Maynard’s spotlight! (Side note: a years worth of candy is way too much candy). How did I feel to be the “face” of a candy? Outside of all the “eat your face” comments, it felt surreal. It was certainly a sweet “15 minutes of fame” and for a while I was recognized while I was at work, or out and about, and there were a few times where people would find me and want to pose for a photo or have me sign their bag of candies which was very cute. I always appreciated the excitement that the idea of a being a “candy girl” evoked especially with a younger crowd. Seeing the bags of Swedish Berries Starring Jessica out on the shelves was crazy, and I would always send pictures to my Mum, she was super proud. Being recognized and celebrated for making a silly face was a lot of good clean goofy fun and if I am going to be “known” for something, that’s what I want to be known for!”
Lessons for Others
Ensure the campaign is specific to your target audience, and market research has been conducted. Additional findings of their target audience were discovered which lead to metrics surpassing their initial KPI’s. Also using social media for brand awareness and engagement from current customers and potential new customers was key to the success of this campaign. Allowing your customers to create their own product and producing it along with a prize creates a buzz and customers are more intrigued as it had never been done before. The originality and creativity from customers surpassed Maynard’s expectations which can set an example for other companies to pursue.
Industry: Consumer packaged goods
Name of Organization Contact: Irene Rosenfeld
Authored by: M.F
If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.
Houpt, Simon. “The Seriously Silly Side of Candy Marketing.” The Globe and Mail, 26 Mar. 2017, beta.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/marketing/the-seriously-silly-side-of-candy-marketing/article558239/?ref=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.theglobeandmail.com&.
Legaspi, Melissa. “Chew on This! Maynards Candy Crowns the First-Ever Face of Maynards.” CNW, PRNewswire, 30 Oct. 2017, www.newswire.ca/news-releases/chew-on-this-maynards-candy-crowns-the-first-ever-face-of-maynards-508987791.html.
“Maynards.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 30 Oct. 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maynards.
Winsa, Patty. “Winning a Peach of a Contest Brings Fuzzy Fame.” Thestar.com, 7 Nov. 2011, www.thestar.com/news/gta/2011/11/07/winning_a_peach_of_a_contest_brings_fuzzy_fame.html.