Wrigley and Mondelez International to Jumpstart Gum Comeback With New Advertising Efforts

This week, Wrigley will launch its Extra campaign from Omnicom Group’s Energy BBDO, Chicago—dads and daughters, this one is for you. Even I couldn’t help but get a little teary-eyed after watching the spot in which a father and daughter share moments over a pack of Extra gum.

Because gum sales are less than impressive, the nation’s two largest gum marketers, Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. and Mondelez International, are hitting viewers with a new wave of advertising. With its brands Trident and Stride, Mondelez will focus on functional messaging with an emphasis on benefits such as oral health. In contrast, Wrigley is hoping to attract consumers with a mix of functional and emotional advertising.

In addition to reviving gum advertising efforts, these companies are changing the way gum has been marketed. In the past, for example, promotional material has highlighted benefits like weight management: “We are trying to turn around and grow the gum category and we wanted to have a more broadly appealing benefit,” said Anne Marie Splitstone, senior gum category director at Wrigley. While weight management “works with a sub-segment of the population, it doesn’t have the broadest appeal,” she added.

Mondelez, on the other hand, is plotting “hard-hitting advertising that focuses on functional benefits such as oral care,” according to CEO Irene Rosenfeld. In order for this to happen, the company moved the domestic Trident account to Wieden & Kennedy from Saatchi & Saatchi in February.

Wrigley will use functional and emotional messaging to grow the gum category—its variety of brands allows for this sort of opportunity. Though the Extra commercial has a softer tone, Orbit’s latest campaign promotes the gum which provides that “just-brushed clean feeling” after meals. Consumers have responded in Wrigley’s favor: Orbit’s sales grew 10.18% to $458.3 million in the year ending July 14, according to IRI.

It will be interesting to see how Wrigley’s and Mondelez’s different advertising strategies play out. Will consumers be drawn to Wrigley’s emotional message? Or will they be more impressed by the functional benefits Mondelez highlights? Only time will tell.

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