Ferrara-owned gummy candy brand Trolli has been keeping things weird for years. The brand’s 2019 “It’s Trolli” campaign, for example -- which marked its largest media investment at the time – debuted with an ad featuring a troll briefly transformed into a smiling clown by a cupboard functioning as a magic portal. A 2016 campaign featuring NBA star James Harden was even called “Weirdly Awesome,” which seems like it could double as a description of the brand’s creative aspirations. So, to the extent that Trolli’s latest campaign marks a departure, it’s that it’s more grounded in reality -- relatively speaking. The campaign, entitled “Eat Me,” also introduces a new brand platform.
“What I love most about the ‘Eat Me’ ad campaign is that it gives a nod to our previous stop motion ads and underworld origins, while also showing our fans the evolution of the personalities of our crawlers,” Trolli Brand Manager Hope Hruska told Marketing Daily, describing the effort as bringing its neon crawlers “out of the depths of the fantastical universe of the Trolli world and into unconventional, yet relatable real-word scenarios like an office and a thrift store.”
The “Eat Me” campaign launched with “Office Breach” on Oct. 30, while “Thrift Store” followed with a Nov. 13 debut. Running across social media platforms including Tik Tok, Instagram and Facebook (Meta) as well as digital services providers such as Spotify and YouTub, and select streaming/OTT channels through the end of the year, the ads also targeted Gen Z consumers. “We uncovered more insights about Gen Z and how our brand inherently resonates with them. We wanted to see how we could further push the boundaries,” Hruska explained.
The campaign also coincides with the release of Trolli Sour Electric Crawlers, with new flavors including Dragon Fruit Mango, which the brand claims is a first in the gummy candy category.
Trolli partnered with WW7 director Emma Debany and creative studio Framestore to bring the campaign to life.
Going forward, Hruska said Trolli plans to expand on the approach with creative mining a similar vein, while expanding the appeal to a wider audience beyond its core Gen Z fanbase. Hruska said viewers can “expect to see the crawlers get more involved in human culture and IRL scenarios as they enter our world and find new ways to reach their most desired fate of being eaten.”
This summer, Trolli teamed up with battle royale game PUBG: Battlegrounds for a campaign aimed squarely at the Gen Z gamers who comprise a core component of its customer base, largely through fairly straightforward in-game incentives and event marketing components.