Oh Henry levels up its shopper game with Circle K

A campaign for a new permanent SKU uses store takeovers and high-impact displays to grab the attention of gamers.


Hershey is hoping for a slam dunk with gamers, launching a shopper campaign that aims to get them to take notice of the new bar aimed directly at them.

The “Level Up” bar, as the name suggests, is being pitched to gamers, an increasingly influential and sizeable demographic – over 23 million people in Canada identify as gamers, logging an average of 10 hours of gameplay per week. According to the Entertainment Software Association of Canada, Canada also has one of the largest per capita populations of video game players in the world.

This all points to an opportunity for Oh Henry, which has long positioned itself around owning the idea of “hunger,” and has been developing new, hyper-targeted bars for different occasions where hunger can strike: in 2018, it launched Oh Henry 4:25 in anticipation of recreational cannabis becoming legalized in Canada. Its Kensington Market Toronto pop up drew millions of impressions online, but the launch in-store – as well as subsequent limited time releases – have been accompanied by boxes and displays bathed in neon green.

Thus, shopper is being made a major part of the Level Up launch, joining a campaign that also includes partnerships with influencers and Twitch executions.

Hershey Canada’s Alejandro Mosquera, marketing manager for Oh Henry, says the brand is hoping to tout functional benefits in a way that speaks to what is important to gamers. Besides being a way to refuel while playing without putting the controller down for too long, the bar has peanuts, peanut butter, caramel, pretzels and a chocolate coating that won’t make players’ consoles and hands greasy. A partnership with video game developer Take-Two Interactive Software will also include special promo codes inside each wrapper to get in-game rewards in NBA 2K21, literally letting them level up their gameplay.

Oh-Henry-shopper2In-market beginning this week and running until Nov. 9, Hershey is also completely taking over two Circle K locations to drive an even deeper connection with convenience shoppers. A selfie wall (pictured, above) at the Toronto locations will be joining a bigger shopper campaign that includes prominent signage and in-store displays. All of the creative – developed with AOR Anomaly and shopper elements by Mosaic– call out the NBA 2K partnership. It also uses elements of the package design that play off of Oh Henry’s signature red and yellow while incorporating pixelated typefaces and gamer-friendly phrases and acronyms.

Mosquera says the shopper elements are all are meant to be high-impact and create “points of interruption inside the store,” getting the new, permanent fixture in the Oh Henry portfolio in front of people to drive trial.

The confectionery space is highly competitive, and Mosquera claims this creative approach is an advantage, particularly as a lot of the competition adapts work from countries with more scale.