At a time when sugar’s global reputation is at an all-time low as it’s negative health effects come under increasing scrutiny, leading sweetener brand, Canderel, pounced with an innovative launch of its new sugar alternative, Canderel Crunch to the South African market.
Available in Stevia and Sucralose variants, Canderel Crunch has the same granular texture and sweet taste of sugar – with a fraction of the kilojoules – and none of sugar’s bad attributes.
Working with integrated digital agency, G&G Digital, and local production company, Hammerhead TV, #SugarFeelingtheCrunch brought sugar to life over the course of a week in July 2015.
Creative Director and co-founder of G&G Digital, Desirée Gullan says, “In the midst of the increasing popularity of ‘no sugar’ challenges and growing consumer awareness, the timing was perfect to disrupt the market.”
With a bit of spandex and whole lot of glittery tulle, sugar was personified as a destitute Cube, struggling to come to terms with his new lot in life after consumers turned their backs on him. The real-life Sugar Cube Man caused havoc across Joburg and online in a desperate attempt to stay relevant after the launch of Canderel Crunch.
A Sugar Cube on the loose
Brand manager for Canderel SA, Kirsty Roberts says, “From the outset we knew we didn’t want to do expected desk drops or a bland launch event – we wanted something totally irreverent and memorable. #SugarFeelingtheCrunch was exactly that.”
From threatening to sue Canderel for identity theft to harassing shoppers and even trying to get into cups of coffee at local coffee shops, the Sugar Cube Man’s antics were captured in a series of videos directed and produced by comedian, Brendan Jack.
During the campaign, G&G Digital’s PR team helped Canderel take on the role of a brand doing crisis communications, sending out a series of media blasts, warning the public of the ‘dangerous and unstable’ Sugar Cube and strongly refuting his claims of identity theft.
The Sugar Cube Man also took his battle for relevance to social media with a dedicated (and desperate) Twitter account (@SugarCubeMan) as well as guerilla elements including a LinkedIn profile and a series of job-seeking posts on Gumtree.
All online channels were monitored throughout the campaign by a team of G&G Digital’s copywriters, strategists, social media managers as well as PR experts who created spontaneous content as the campaign developed. This resulted in optimal reach and relevance for campaign content.
The Sugar Cube Man’s antics culminated in him gatecrashing Canderel’s product sampling and PR activities at various media houses across Joburg, where he begged journalists not to give him up for Canderel Crunch. As a result, media personalities took to Twitter to officially ‘break up’ with the Sugar Cube and declare Canderel their sweet stuff of choice.
“In the midst of the fun, the message was clear – Canderel Crunch looks and tastes like sugar, with none of the kilojoules,” says Gullan, adding that the #SugarFeelingtheCrunch hashtag reached almost 290 000 unique accounts on Twitter and nearly half a million impressions were served.
The videos gained over 60 000 views across YouTube and Facebook and the total PR value generated by the campaign to date is over R1.37 million.
“The ultimate goal was to break through with unexpected, entertaining content that would get people talking about the new product and wanting to try it. As a totally unique (and slightly off-the-wall) media launch, #SugarFeelingtheCrunch ticked all the boxes,” concludes Gullan.