- Chips Ahoy, the cookie brand owned by Mondelez International, is bringing back its mascot Chip after a six-year hiatus, according to a press release. Chip returns to promote two new cookie products that include Reese's Pieces and Hershey's chocolate chips.
- The animated Chip was described in the press release as being a "loveable optimist," and the latest campaign will focus messaging on how bringing flavor combinations from the different brands together helps spread happiness.
- Chip will appear in ads running across TV, digital and in-store, as well as on Chips Ahoy's social media channels. The company also said that the character will factor into "mashup-style content with top online creators," but did not share further details.
Chips Ahoy is resurrecting its brand mascot once again, but with a digital makeover that will see the character deployed on social media and in collaborative content with online creators. In a spot reintroducing the character, Chip lounges in a hot tob with a Hershey's chocolate bar. He asks viewers to imagine the combination of each flavor together and then shows the new package of the Hershey's Milk Chocolate cookies.
The campaign promoting two new flavors leans into the idea of uniting people with happiness and connections. As the nation faces deeper political divisions and mounting concerns around the spread of novel coronavirus, the messaging strategy could be intended to provide some relief to anxious consumers.
Chips Ahoy has periodically centered its marketing around a brand mascot. The last iteration of the concept in 2014 was actually dubbed "Cookie Guy," and was intended to celebrate Chips Ahoy's 50th anniversary and an accompanying line of then-new flavors, according to USA Today.
Other marketers in the packaged food category are also ramping up focus on their mascots. The shift to centering marketing on distinct company icons comes during a year when many companies, particularly in disrupted categories like packaged foods, are expected to return to stronger brand-building roots.
Kraft Heinz brands Kool-Aid and Planters Peanuts have both been playing up their classic mascots of late. Kool-Aid earlier this week kicked off a campaign in which the Kool-Aid Man goes missing while on the hunt for a new flavor, and fans are called on to help find him. The brand is using social media to provide updates on the search.
Ahead of the Super Bowl, Planters ran a teaser ad that depicted Mr. Peanut's death. The campaign proved controversial and was paused after the real-life death of NBA star Kobe Bryant, but Planters' eventual in-game spot for Super Bowl LIV depicted Mr. Peanut being reborn as Baby Nut — a new character that Planters has pushed heavily on social media.