By Audrey Kemp | Junior reporter

September 6, 2022 | 3 min read

Starburst aims to get gen Z’s TikTok videos noticed by extraterrestrial lifeforms by teaming up with astrophysicist Kirsten Banks and SpaceSpeak.

Aliens, meet gen Z. Gen Z, meet the aliens. In Starburst’s new ‘Ask the universe’ campaign, the fruity candy brand plans on making an interstellar introduction.

From September 6 to October 14, TikTokers are encouraged to make videos asking the question: “How do they make Starburst taste so juicy?” in a way that might resonate with higher life forms lightyears away. To raise awareness on TikTok, astrophysicist and influencer Kirsten Banks – or @astrokirsten on TikTok – will announce the challenge and provide some inspiration for submissions.

The most compelling videos will quite literally be beamed into space via proprietary technology from SpaceSpeak, an organization that claims to send messages into space via radio waves to any extraterrestrial lifeforms that may be listening. According to SpaceSpeak, the videos will travel at the speed of light, meaning they will travel through the entire solar system on their first day. Starburst’s website will also provide winners with the ability to see where their videos are in space in real-time.

‘Ask the universe’ is Starburst’s first campaign since ‘Unexplainably Juicy’ in 2015 and marks the brand’s attempt at engaging gen Z, the age group most interested in space, a ValuePenguin survey shows. “After more than eight years of building the brand’s successful ‘Unexplainably Juicy’ platform, our key question – ‘How do they make Starburst taste so juicy?’ – still remains unanswered,” said Martin Terwilliger, marketing director at Mars Wrigley. “Leaning into the playful nature of the brand and the childlike wonder it evokes, we’re excited to evolve our pre-existing brand platform and tagline in a way that reconnects with fans and reaches an expanded gen-Z audience. Starburst is all about encouraging imagination, and so setting our sights on outer space just made sense.”

The campaign, created by DDB, also includes a 15-second spot, which debuted last month. Directed by Danish experimental filmmaker Bine Bach, the commercial takes place in a retro space station, whose employees beam their message up to faraway aliens. Creative content will run via online, print, paid search and select social channels.

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