As the candy industry shifts towards digital advertising, Peeps is moving with it. The family-run company producing the chick-shaped confection launched its first digital ad campaign on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube today, with the goal of winning over millennial parents.

“We are entrenched with moms who skew older, but we want to pull millennial moms into our franchise,” senior brand manager Noelle Porcoro told the New York Post.

The four-video campaign, which chronicles a mock election between the Peeps chicks and a groundhog, comes as Food brands shift advertising dollars away from traditional media in favor of digital ad formats. In 2014, Food & Candy brands increased their digital ad spend by 4.1%, while cutting back on all other media.

Along with snack foods, candy brands yield the largest digital return on investment from television advertising. While the two segments were responsible for less than half of Q1 2015 TV spend by brands in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Food, they secured 83% of the online interactions (that is, views, shares, and searches) traced to that TV collateral.

Online actions vs. TV spend

But as candy brands pursue the lucrative opportunities offered by digital advertising, platforms such as YouTube and Facebook are increasingly becoming pay-to-play. In this regard, the family-run company selling Peeps may find itself at a disadvantage compared with category leaders like Snickers and Skittles, which not only paid $4.5 million for 30-second ads during the 2015 Super Bowl (two of only three Index brands to do so) but backed those ads with significant additional spend. The L2 study finds that 90% of Snickers’ YouTube views originate from sponsored links; for the Peeps campaign to really get millennials talking, the brand will need to make similar investments in digital content.


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