Creative Director’s Choice: Marcus Thomas CCO Jamie Venorsky on the Reese’s candy converter

Reese's Halloween Candy Converter

Creative Director’s Choice gives creative directors a chance to highlight the work they think is the best out in the ad world — the ads and campaigns they believe are making a difference.

This week, Jamie Venorsky, chief creative officer, Marcus Thomas, professes his love of Reese’s and the brand’s Halloween Candy Converter vending machine.

Do you want to know my wife’s absolute favorite candy? Whoppers. You know, the chocolate-coated malted milk balls? I think they’ve been around since the 40s. Not familiar with them? Don’t worry about it. They’re horrible. As a kid, I used to hate seeing Whoppers in my trick-or-treat bounty. Almost as much as I hated seeing Bit-O-Honey bars. It really is hard to decide which is worse. And like me, my kids hate seeing them in their Halloween stash. That’s because while all kids like candy, all candy is not created equal. There is certain candy you want more of and some candy you don’t want at all (like Whoppers).

This past Halloween, Reese’s took advantage of the opportunity to solve this problem and let kids (and presumably a few parents) get more of what they want. They created a vending machine that lets anyone trade out their unwanted sweets in exchange for Reese’s.

By making it possible to trade in any other candy in return for Reese’s, the brand has reinforced its self-anointed position as the best candy known to humankind, and created a branded experience that gives consumers more of what they want. How often can advertising be defined as “giving consumers more of what they want”? This experience is not just an exchange of candy; it’s an exchange of value between the consumer and the brand. The consumer gets better candy and the brand gets to proclaim total confection dominance as it becomes the candy everyone is talking about at Halloween.

“Disappointment goes in, Reese’s Cups come out,” says the campaign video. I say it’s simply brilliant.

Jamie Venorsky is chief creative officer at Cleveland-based independent agency, Marcus Thomas.

To see the latest creative ads and campaigns, visit The Drum’s Creative Works section. If you would like to feature a creative director in our Creative Director’s Choice, please contact Creative Works editor Kyle O’Brien.

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