Hershey launches ‘sweet’ masterbrand platform

The confectionery brand puts its focus on enjoying moments, starting with a video comprised of "Dad Jokes" told entirely in ASL.

The Hershey Company is using a lighthearted exchange between a father and son to launch a new masterbrand platform that’s aimed at getting Canadians to associate the chocolate brand with life’s sweet moments.

The new “Dad Jokes” ad stars Chris and Braden Kenopic, a real-life father and son who are both deaf and active within Toronto’s deaf community, signing groan-worthy jokes to one another. Chris Kenopic is also a former president and CEO of the Canadian Hearing Society. The video was posted online earlier this month, and Hershey points to its 1.3 million views as proof that there is demand for inclusive representation in marketing and advertising from consumers.

The spot, created by Anomaly and Sparks Production, is the first in the brand’s new “Life is Sweet” platform. This is the company’s first year in market as a masterbrand, and the platform aims to make Hershey’s a “megabrand” that stands on its own among Canadian consumers, according to John Hay, senior marketing manager at The Hershey Company. The company is connecting all of the products in its portfolio under a big brand idea that is meant to be meaningful to consumers.

“The big idea behind ‘Life is Sweet’ is that life constantly sidetracks us and stops us from enjoying the ride,” he says. “We believe that life is a roller coaster and, above all else, we want to enjoy everyday moments with the people we care about. That’s what makes life sweet and Hershey’s makes those moments just a little bit sweeter.”

“Dad Jokes” was designed to be online-only, with pre-roll versions of the spot referencing the “skip ad” button in creative to encourage people not to skip by referencing the sweet moment at the end. Hay says this fits with the idea behind the broader platform. “We don’t want people to skip through everyday moments, as any moment that can be shared can be sweet.”

The online video will be running until late August, with the social push wrapping up this weekend. UM is handling media.