Candy brand Aakkoset added inclusivity into candy bags – advertisement likeability grew by 245 %


In honor of the 50th anniversary, the candy Aakkoset, loved by millions of Finns, wanted to add inclusivity into their product that would reflect modern Finnish society. Inklusiiv was selected as the inclusivity expert to ensure the consideration of different language groups. The campaign sparked passionate debate and produced tangible results: the market share of Aakkoset grew by 15% and the campaign reached up to 12 million people.

Candy Aakkoset

Cloettan Aakkosten juhlavuoden makeispussit

Cloetta’s Aakkoset is a classic, widely-loved candy that celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2020. The candy holds an important place in Finns’ hearts – up to millions of Finnish eat Aakkoset sweets every year.

Approaching the anniversary, Cloetta Aakkoset wanted to add meaningfulness to the classic product.

“Consumers expect meaningful activities from the brands. They believe that brands might have an even bigger influence on surrounding society than many established institutions. We at Cloetta believe that meaningfulness can be also seen on an economic level. The fact that brands take a stand on things that are important to them is a significant sales driver”, says Heidi Pekkala, Product Group Manager of Cloetta Finland.

The idea of a meaningful brand project was born. The Cloetta product team decided to start the work with an ad agency, media agency and Inklusiiv.

Playfulness and impactfulness as a strategy

At the heart of Aakkoset sweets has always been the traditional Finnish alphabet. However, many languages are spoken in Finland now and in the future. Therefore, the natural way to add meaningfulness to the Aakkoset brand was to increase diversity through the usage of different languages. The underlying idea is that Aakkoset and Cloetta stand for inclusive values and a diverse Finland.

The planning teams realized that they don’t represent all language groups, which is why Inklusiiv was brought to the campaign planning phase. Inklusiiv acted as an inclusivity expert, assisting in the language and culture strategy and implementing diversity strategy in a way that suits the candy brand. The Inklusiiv team consisted mainly of racialized experts, and we also consulted language groups, which our expertise didn’t cover, as in the case of the Inari Sámi.

Candy Aakkoset

The result was the campaign called Yhteiset Aakkoset (Common Alphabet), in which the most widely spoken foreign languages ​​(Russian, Estonian, Arabic), internationally common English, and Swedish and Inari Sámi from domestic languages, were added to the candy bags.

The language update to the candy bags was expected to spark a passionate debate – and so it did. Inklusiiv also helped with the product launch’s media communication.

“We learned that even a candy brand could spark a conversation and do good by helping to understand each other and appreciate diversity,” says Pekkala.

Achieved results: meaning, media publicity and increased sales

The change in candy bags sparked a heated debate for and against: the internet forums declared that the Aakkoset were ruined. However, the campaign results showed otherwise.

Aakkoset market share grew by as much as 15 % and the campaign boosted sales of all Aakkoset candy bags, although usually new product launches are only highlighted in sales figures of that one single product.

The campaign increased the number of positive attributes associated with the Aakkoset brand. Among those who saw the ads, an interesting and exciting brand was mentioned, which grew by +56 %, and a brand I trust, by +38 %. The number of those who saw the Aakkoset ads and liked it grew by 245 %.

Within a week of the campaign launch, Aakkoset candy bags received almost 20 mentions in the media, including publications like Iltalehti and Ilta-Sanomat, Lännen media, Markkinointi & Mainonta and MTV. Between May and June 2020, the campaign’s total reach was as high as 8.2 million people. When paid advertising is included, the campaign reach grows to 12 million people.

Consultation and workshops are provided by Inklusiiv Oy (owned by Inklusiiv ry)

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