SweeTarts have been around since 1962, but the latest marketing plans for the candy try to embrace the future.
The tangy tablets are sponsoring a film festival on TikTok that aims to harness the energy of non-traditional filmmakers who use the social-media venue to showcase everything from a cappella singing to skateboarding skills to recipes. The entries won’t require big Hollywood budgets, or the trappings of a film set, just the creativity it requires to make a short TikTok video.
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“Typical award-show concepts really tend to be a little more exclusive,” says Jennifer Brownson, the senior brand manager of SweeTarts at Ferrara, the candymaker behind Nerds, Lemonheads and Now and Later. “We are excited to support everyday creators and storytellers with this activation.”
Contestants may submit starting Friday, August 1 ,and continue through September 7. Fans can submit and engage with short TikTok films in four categories: “Best Expression of ‘Be Both’”, “Best Story Time”, “Best Use of Video Tools” and “Best Colorful Creation.” To participate, people interested can visit TikTok’s #SweeTARTSFilmEntry hashtag page to submit a video for each weekly challenge and tag @sweeTARTScandy in the caption.
Four winners will be selected by a panel of judges, including actress Xóchitl Gómez. Each winner will receive a grand prize of $25,000. Gomez will announce the winners on Oct. 6 during a live grand finale award show at 7pm ET, only on her TikTok channel.
The idea of creating a movie continues to hold appeal with the young consumers Ferrara hopes to attract to SweeTarts. But the concept needs to be tweaked, says David Lang, chief creative and experience officer at GroupM North America, part of WPP. “We think about film festivals like Tribeca – they are all long-form and beautiful and high-end, and yet, on social media, the next generation is craving films that are shorter form,” says Lang. “In order to be relevant to this next generation, we wanted to reimagine what a film festival could be.”
TikTok has made a push in recent months to introduce advertising concepts that help boost and amplify organic content. One format, called Spark Ads, aims to give marketers the opportunity to promote conversations from creators as if their videos were sponsored. Advertisers can also crowdsource content from TikTok creators and turn top videos into an element in commercials.
“We love seeing a vibrant brand like this inspire creativity on our platform while celebrating self-expression and creativity of everyday film creators,’ says Amy Oelkers, TikTok’s US Vertical Director of CPG, Global Business Solutions, in a prepared statement.
Expect SweeTarts to do more work with TikTok, where Brian Camen, senior director of media, content and public relations at Ferrara says the company can get the word out to billions of consumers, including those in Generation Z. “We do plan to continue to work with and elevate creators who stand for self-expression on TikTok and other platforms in our future marketing activations,” he says.
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