As the last of the U.S. high school seniors wrap up a final year that’s been like none other, it’s hard not to be sympathetic of the lost memories. For most students, COVID-19 effectively squashed a number of teen milestones like final games, graduations ceremonies and proms.
With many areas scrambling to supplement with virtual stand-ins, Mondelez International kicked things up a notch with its Sweetest Prom Ever virtual prom party, a Chips Ahoy/Sour Patch Kids collaboration with Grammy-nominated DJ Steve Aoki.
“We know that high school this year looked very different for students across the country,” Sabrina Sierant, Chips Ahoy associate director at Mondelez, tells CGT. “With prom being just one of the important milestones that students missed out on, we not only wanted to bring the prom experience straight to students’ homes, but also reward one lucky student with an unforgettable prom do-over for their classmates.”
See also: P&G Teams with Twitch for the 1st Time
Held May 23, the one-hour event livestreamed on Aoki’s YouTube channel, as well as across the brands’ YouTube, Instagram and Twitter channels. An accompanying Instagram and Twitter sweepstakes also offered the chance to win a future prom do-over, and Sierant describes the reaction as overwhelmingly positive. Participants engaged with comments and song requests throughout the night, translating to 20 times more Twitter account mentions on the day of the virtual prom than average on a standard day.
For Mondelez, the event served as a way to give some of its younger customers a fun, celebratory distraction from the more somber events around them.
“We’re living in a unique time in which many young people are feeling a little bummed and heartbroken from both being stuck at home more and missing out on some key events. It’s our job as marketers and content creators to see how we can add value to our consumers’ lives in an authentic way that is connected to each brand’s purpose,” says Sierant. “Value could come from generating engaging or useful content that provides consumers with a fun distraction, supporting organizations or charities in an authentic and meaningful way, or creating activations that help them celebrate those missed milestones during this unique time."
It also solidified the value of operating with purpose during the health crisis while simultaneously aligning with the company’s core business goals.
“A focus for us today and for the future is having our brands live their purpose and play a relevant and meaningful role in our consumers and shoppers lives,” she says. “Our purpose is to empower people to snack right by offering our consumers the right snack, for the right moment, made the right way. We did just that with the Sweetest Prom Ever campaign, giving students a chance to keep their minds off what’s going on in the world around them — even if it’s for a few fleeting moments — sparking happiness during this challenging time.”
Mondelez International is No. 19 on the CGT Top 100 Consumer Goods Brands of 2019 list. In addition to Chips Ahoy and Sour Patch Kids, it also counts such brands as Oreo, Belvita, Toblerone and Trident under its umbrella.