Asian candy brand Pocky is raising awareness in the U.S. market with its first out-of-home effort, via a giant digital billboard in New York City's Times Square.
Developed with agency Santy, the video billboard features a flirtatious couple sharing a glance, a flirt, a bite and a chaste kiss.
This high-profile channel was an unexpected addition to Pocky's U.S. "Share Happiness" campaign that has predominantly lived on social media. After Pocky experienced a robust sales lift in the first quarter of this year, the brand wanted to keep the momentum going in Q2, says the agency.
New York City is one of Pocky's top markets in the country, so they saw the billboard as a opportunity to get their brand’s image and message out to the multitudes who live in and visit the city.
One unique challenge was the tight turn-around.
Usually a project of this size would take three months, but Santy had 20 days — or 13 business days — to produce the digital and video files needed to launch on time. "During that time, Santy concepted three options for the client to choose from, cast talent, scouted locations, conducted a one-day production shoot in LA, edited the video with client feedback and submitted the video," says Dan Santy, president, CEO, Santy.
While the U.S. may be somewhat unfamiliar with this brand and message, the Share Happiness tagline has been used in Japan for decades. The product itself is designed to be shared, and many Japanese children bring it as a snack to share with their friends at school.
It remains to be seen if American children will do the same with the treat. Last fall, Pocky's parent Ezaki Glico USA Corp. hired creative agency Santy to handle social media, PR, social influencer marketing and other creative efforts to support its Pocky brand's emergence in the U.S.