Halloween is here. That means candy is here. Which inevitably means Smarties are here. Now I love Smarties. They’ve been one of my favorites since childhood. And since each one is little more than a flavored disc of sugar, I typically take stacks of 4 or 5 at a time and devour them.
Of course, it’s 2010, which means Smarties can’t exactly get away with a marketing strategy of “sugary treats your kids will love.” They aren’t healthy. They don’t encourage or promote a healthy lifestyle. So how do the folks at Smarties solve the problem?
Like this (as it appears on a podcast sponsorship disclaimer I saw this morning):
“The podcast edition of this article was sponsored by Smarties: the gluten-free, dairy-free, tamper-evident, low-calorie candies for Halloween. Buy Smarties this year. They’re the smart choice for Halloween.”
They’re…they’re just sugar, right? Apparently not, according to their marketing folks. Rather than focusing on the unhealthy aspects of the product (kids love candy and candy is made of sugar), they’re using every health-related buzz term they can use to avoid the negatives of their product.
Is it deceptive? Probably. Will it work? Maybe. I’m not a parent, so the language isn’t exactly targeted toward me, but the general premise remains; the people at Smarties are basically trying to tell the public that Smarties are the “healthy” choice – though not quite in those words.
While we at ADwërks don’t encourage deception in our marketing practices, we must admit that Smarties has taken an interesting approach. If they plan to differentiate themselves from dozens of other candy options this Halloween, this is certainly one way to do it. We just don’t know if claiming to be a “low-calorie” candy is fair. Sure, only eating half of a roll might count as low-calorie, but which kid at Halloween only eats one roll of Smarties?
I personally think “the smart choice” for Smarties would be to focus on the things they are rather than emphasizing the things they aren’t, but maybe that’s just me. All I know is that I’ll be much more likely to buy (and devour) Smarties this Halloween for their delicious, tangy taste rather than their gluten- and dairy-free ingredients.
What do you think about this approach? Do you think it’s an innovative strategy in a saturated market? Think it’s a shady advertising practice? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Photo via flower7 on Food.com.