Dum-Dums Launches First Campaign In 30 Years

Spangler Candy is re-energizing the Dum-Dums lollipop brand with its first advertising campaign in 30 years. 

A lot has changed during those decades, explains Evan Brock, director of marketing, Spangler Candy. "Our goal with this campaign is to be ourselves and deliver a pop of positivity to kids of all ages.”

The creative, developed with Smith Brothers, introduces a new "Make Life Pop" tagline for the 95-year-old brand that was inspired by research that finds consumers love the lollipops because everyone needs optimism, particularly in today's climate. 

“Dum Dums is one of those rare, iconic brands that is already so loaded with positive emotion. Who doesn’t remember rooting around in that bowl and the simple thrill of finding your favorite flavor?” says Lindsey Smith, cofounder, Smith Brothers. “Our job was to keep it simple — remind people what Dum Dums already means to them and then kind of get out of the way.”



The Shel Silverstein-inspired animated ads interject colored Dum-Dums lollipops into black-and-white snippets of everyday moments, like lifting weights and grabbing a balloon. 

The brand's return to marketing underscores its challenge to compete in today's marketplace. Despite its popularity since 1924, the candy had lost its mojo after being overshadowed by the nonstop innovation and ballooning marketing budgets of larger competitors.

"With a decidedly smaller budget and a largely unchanged product, we had to reenergize the Dum Dums brand, making it top-of-mind and relevant for a new generation of candy buyers," says Smith. 

The agency "found our own power" by tapping into the latent equity of the Dum Dums brand to remind consumers of a kinder time and delivering a pop of joy — when we could all really use it, he says. "While the big candy brands rolled out evermore colorful and absurd marketing campaigns desperately seeking recall in this highly impulsive category, we stripped away the heavy production and created advertising that was striking in its simplicity."

The campaign includes two animated :30 spots airing across digital channels along with :15-second cut downs for social media.

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