Did the Reese Society reach cult-like status?

The brand was so pleased with the program's results that it erected a fan-created oil painting of its cups on a billboard to say thanks.
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Ironically, Reese may have done too good a job of keeping its secret society a secret when it first debuted. Because, in its inaugural year back in 2018, the covert group only managed to induct 30 “members” (a.k.a. Reese “superfans” who applied to be a part of the Society that does-but-does-not exist).

That’s why, this year, Reese decided to put more digital, social and influencer marketing behind the Society – and Dulangi Kapugama, assistant marketing manager of Reese tells strategy that it appears to have done the trick.

This time around, the brand received 6,000 submissions from fans who wanted to become a member of the Reese Society. Of those, roughly 325 were chosen to be inducted. In addition, the brand’s overall digital engagement increased 115% and there have been 45,000 website visits to the Reese Society microsite, which is almost 246% higher than the Reese.ca website. Reese also increased its Instagram following by 27% since the launch in August.

“There was always this intrigue – we never told you what you’d receive if you were part of Reese Society, or even what it fully means to join. I think that’s what really drove over 6,000 Canadians to want to know what it is and want to join,” says Kapugama.

A big part of what helped entice fans to want to join the guild were videos and a microsite that Anomaly created for the brand’s August marketing push. The creative took a conspiratorial tone and used reverse psychology by telling consumers not to do things like change their Instagram handles to include the Reese name, or not to write and perform a song about peanut butter cups.

Kapugama believes fans responded well to the program because of its “exclusivity fuels intrigue” element, as well as the fact that the program went beyond the traditional call-to-action of simply purchasing a product. “It was a way for fans to be involved with the brand.”

Having had such a success with the campaign this year, Reese decided to thank the record number of fans who engaged with the brand by submitting an homage to Reese online. Last weekend, Reese selected one of the 325 member submissions – an oil painting of Reese cups by Emily Bickell  and suspended it on a billboard in her hometown in Calgary.

“By showcasing her artwork… we’re trying to drive affinity,” adds Kapugama. “[Because] we want people to love the brand as much as they [love to] purchase the [product].”

Anomaly was the creative agency tasked with the Reese Society campaign.