Mondelez turns to teens to market latest gum brand

Mondelez International is turning to teens for advice on how it markets its latest chewing gum brand Twist as part of a wider effort to reinvigorate its struggling gum business.

Food manufacturer partners with teens to develop the marketing activity for its new Twist chewing gum brand.

The business, formerly the confectionery arm of Kraft Foods, will host a series of workshops across Europe in the coming months to crowdsource the marketing strategy for its Twist brand.

A pilot scheme in Greece earlier this year saw Mondelez work with 1,600 teens over several weeks to create the brand, its packaging and the communications strategy or the product’s launch in the country. The product will be rolled out to other markets in 2013.

Brands are increasingly crowdsourcing elements of their marketing activity but the food maker has gone further than most by collaborating on all aspects of promotional strategy.

Krister Zackari, president of gum and candy at Mondelez, says the company has taken the “unconventional” approach of crowdsourcing an ongoing marketing strategy for its Twist brand in a bid to ensure it is giving teenagers exactly what they want from a snack brand.

He adds: “Because we’re working with teens on the strategy we’re developing it as we go along. It means that we’ve had to change how we would normally go about planning the marketing for a brand. We don’t know what we’ll do next with Twist because we want to evolve naturally as a result of our work with teens.”

An English version of a TV spot for the brand will launch in several of the company’s key markets in the near future that asks viewers to submit their suggestions to Facebook on what should happen next.

Separately, Mondelez will look to introduce lower price points for its gum brands to drive impulse purchases after saying that rising unemployment and falling GDP figures across Europe had led to lower purchasing power for gum shoppers. While Mondelez has outperformed across much of its portfolio recently, the company saw flat sales in its $6bn (£3.7bn) gum and candy segment during its second quarter.

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