Red Vines is looking to spread a little goodwill, one licorice strand at a time, with a new social media campaign that encourages people to write enough positive affirmations to circle the globe.
The campaign, "Red Vines World of Sharing," plays off the company's tagline, "The World Could Use a Bit More Red Vines," encouraging people to write a positive affirmation, which takes the form of a Red Vine candy on a Google Maps-enabled globe. Each strand is intended to represent one mile, meaning it will take 24,000 statements to make it around the world. (The chain starts at the company's Union City, Calif. plant on the virtual globe.)
"We wanted to build something that would be unique and wouldn't be [typical] 'marketing'" Mike Kelly, consumer communications manager for American Licorice Co., tells Marketing Daily. "We wanted to keep [the campaign] going in a positive direction, 'How could we make sharing unique?'"
The site, which went live Friday, is closely tied to Facebook and Twitter (users can use Facebook Connect login to begin posting), and a concurrent contest (which awards a prize for every 100 miles of virtual Red Vine created and a $5,000 grand prize to help one winner take a trip around the world) is tied to Facebook and Twitter response, Kelly says. "The [virtual] Vines with the most views win," he says. (He adds that the affirmations do not need to reference the product to qualify for prizes or make it into the chain.)
The company is relying on the viral nature of social media -- as well as its 15,000 Facebook fans -- to spread the word, Kelly says. He's also hoping the positive nature of the campaign will work to its advantage. "When you put good content out there, it tends to get forwarded and forwarded and forwarded," he says.
The social media effort is a big step for American Licorice Co., the parent of Red Vines, Kelly says. Although the company has been around for more than a century, it produced its first television commercial only a few years ago, he says. "Historically, it's been a manufacturing company," he says. "Our [recent] direct consumer marketing has led us to be focused on the consumer, rather than having the inertia of being a 100-year-old company."